British 'New Day' paper is closed after just nine weeks

Sales topped 150,000, but reportedly petered out to 40,000

New Day, newspaper, UK, closed, Trinity Mirror, Alison Phillips

File photo of copies of The New Day - the UK's first newest stand-alone national newspaper in three decades | Image: Anthony Devlin / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The first new national newspaper in Britain for 30 years is to close just nine weeks after its launch due to weak sales.

Publisher Trinity Mirror said that while New Day had received "many supportive reviews" its circulation had been below expectations.

It confirmed that Friday's edition, its 50th, would be its last.

That statement added: "Whilst disappointing, the launch and subsequent closure have provided new insights into enhancing our newspapers and a number of these opportunities will be considered over time".

The development was something of a surprise because it came so soon after launch day in late February.

It entered circulation for free before readers were faced with an early charge of 25p (31c) - later raised to 50p (63c).

Sales topped 150,000 initially but reportedly petered out below 40,000.

Publishers wanted an "upbeat" and "optimistic" title that would appeal to women and was unusual only in that it pledged to be politically neutral - unlike rivals.

At the time of the launch, its editor Alison Phillips said: "We still believe there is still a market for newspapers and that people really enjoy sitting down and reading a newspaper".

"We're living in a rapidly changing world...but from that we've discovered that what people want from a newspaper is a sense of completeness - that this is all they need to know. And if they just read this, they'll be on top of all the important stuff that is going on".

Nevertheless, the decision to publish the New Day was greeted with scepticism - given the slow decline of the market for print newspapers.

Last year the market for daily titles declined by 8%, according to the UK National Readership Survey.

Trinity chief executive Simon Fox had said at the time of the New Day's launch that he would pull the plug if it did not win readers and turn a profit.

The Independent and Independent On Sunday newspapers closed earlier this year after three decades to go digital-only.