One of the longest-serving daily newspaper editors in the regional press is to step down from his role after almost a quarter of a century.

Perry Austin-Clarke was the youngest daily newspaper editor ever appointed in Westminster Press (now part of the Newsquest Media group) when he took on leadership of the Telegraph & Argus in 1992.

He became Group Editor of Newsquest (Bradford) in 2001, taking on additional responsibility for the Keighley News, Craven Herald, Ilkley Gazette and Wharfedale Observer, and in December 2014 was promoted to Group Editor of Newsquest (Yorkshire), adding the editorship of The Press, in York, and the Gazette & Herald, in Ryedale, to his portfolio.

Last year, The Press was voted Regional Daily Newspaper of the Year (under 20k sales) in the Regional Press Awards and the Telegraph & Argus was runner-up. The T&A has just been shortlisted for this year’s award, for the third time in four years.

Perry, who is leaving to launch his own media business, said: “When I was asked to apply for the T&A job I was told to expect to do it for five years. But that’s the effect Bradford has on people; it’s a fantastic city with wonderfully open and generous residents but it also has more than its fair share of problems.

“That makes every single day a challenge that sucks you in because you can always see the potential in Bradford even if those who gainsay it can’t.

“So editorship of the T&A has been a fascinating and all-consuming experience.”

The T&A has raised millions of pounds for charity under his editorship, including buying Bradford Royal Infirmary’s first MRI scanner and setting up a chair of cancer research at Bradford University which has already led to major advances in treatment. In 2015-16, the T&A helped raise another £1 million for a mass spectrometer to help bring new cancer drugs to the market more quickly.

“I’m extremely proud of our many charity fund-raising efforts,” said Perry. “And I am particularly keen to use my experience to help local charities with my new venture.”

Last year, the T&A website became the best-read local news website in the whole of West and North Yorkshire.

Perry said his proudest achievement was probably winning the three awards the T&A received from the Commission for Racial Equality for its sensitive and insightful reporting of the two Bradford riots and their aftermath.

He said leaving the T&A after more than 24 years would be a “wrench”.

“I have worked over the years with many very fine, talented and totally committed journalists – both in Bradford and York - who have donated an incredible amount of effort and goodwill to producing the best possible newspaper and websites every day, often under very challenging conditions,” he said.

Perry will continue to be associated with the T&A, writing for the paper and working on some special projects.

Newsquest Managing Director (North), David Coates, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Perry for his enormous contribution to the success of all our titles in both Bradford and York over a long and distinguished career and wish him every success with his new venture.”