Our History

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Big Issue North started in December 1992 as a Manchester supplement within the London-based The Big Issue.

From there, Big Issue North grew as an independent publication distributed in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber. To expand the range of services that we offered to vendors, we established the Big Issue North Trust in 1996.

A large fundraising campaign, plus National Lottery money and a regeneration grant from English Partnerships, meant we were able to move into an office in Manchester in 1998, with offices in Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull to follow, along with sub-offices in Preston and Kendal.

From 15 May 2023, Big Issue North vendors reverted to selling the national Big Issue UK weekly magazine, as Big Issue North magazine ceases production. However, we do continue to contribute weekly regional content to the magazine, as well as producing our own app, Street News.

The change will not have an impact on people experiencing poverty and homelessness across the region, who will continue to earn an income through selling a magazine on the streets of the North. They will still be in towns and cities, selling Big Issue UK magazine, keeping the profit they make.

We are part of INSP (International Network of Street Papers). INSP supports the development and sustainability of its members, and adds value to their work so that thousands of homeless or vulnerably housed vendors – more than 250,000 so far – can earn a living and improve their lives. INSP does this by providing a range of services and projects, including the annual Global Street Paper Summit and the INSP News Service.

Big Issue North Trust is part of The Big Life group. Working across the north, Big Life is in the business of changing lives, creating opportunities for people who have the least.

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