The 20 towns and cities across the UK which are expected to be the first to have their own local TV stations were announced today by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The first ‘pioneer areas’ are expected to be: Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Southampton and Swansea.
Red pins mark the first 20 areas; blue pins mark the next 24. View Local Television: proposed areas to be advertised in a larger map
These areas were identified as having good local spectrum coverage and significant levels of interest from potential operators and audiences. Ofcom will now consult on these areas and its proposed licensing process.
“I am confident these new stations will provide local communities with programming which is relevant to their daily lives, will support local democracy, boost the big society and enhance local communities,” said Mr Hunt.
A further 24 areas identified for a future round of licensing are: Aberdeen, Ayr, Bangor, Barnstaple, Basingstoke, Bedford, Cambridge, Carlisle, Derry / Londonderry, Dundee, Guildford, Hereford, Inverness, Kidderminster, Limavady, Luton, Maidstone, Malvern, Mold, Salisbury, Sheffield, Stoke on Trent, Stratford upon Avon and York.
Framework for local TV
The Government is also taking a number of steps to create a new statutory framework for licensingthat will allow for transmission infrastructure to be built and the new local TV services to start operating. Spectrum will be awarded through a competitive process to a single multiplex operator to provide the distribution for local TV. The necessary enabling legislation will be laid shortly.