THE award-winning Kidderminster Shuttle is in the running for a top prize for the fifth year running.

Wyre Forest's leading weekly newspaper has been shortlisted for the Newsquest Media Group's Free Newspaper of the Year Award 2005.

The Shuttle won the title in 2003 and was runner-up in 2001, 2002 and 2004.

This year it has been shortlisted with its Worcestershire sister paper, The Evesham Journal, The Camborne and Redruth Packet in Cornwall and The Sale and Altrincham Messenger in Cheshire.

The prestigious panel of judges included Sunday Mirror editor, Tina Weaver, The People chief sports writer, Andy Dunn, and The Sun associate editor, Geoff Webster.

Newsquest is the second biggest publisher of free newspapers in the country - distributing in excess of five million copies a week.

It owns more than 300 newspapers - as far afield as London, Glasgow, Oxford, Brighton and South Wales - and 166 are distributed free.

Shuttle editor, Clive Joyce, said: "Five years in the top bracket of one of the biggest companies in the newspaper industry shows we have reached a high standard and have managed to maintain it for a long period.

"We have developed a newspaper that has a very close relationship with its community and staff across all departments have played a part in this success."

The company's awards ceremony will be at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey, on Monday, March 14.