20 Towns Set To Get New Local TV Stations

Ofcom have confirmed that 20 towns will be getting their first local TV stations as a part of the plans to increase regional viewing.

Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Southampton and Swansea are the 20 areas.

The sites were chosen by the TV watchdog from a shortlist of 65, after it assessed potential interest from local operators and viewers. There are still some loose ends to be tied up, but licences should be granted next year with the first stations ready to open by next summer.

“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 culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Hunt also confirmed that 24 more areas across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, have been lined up for a ‘second round of licencing’. He then explained that the stations themselves would be self-financed although some set-up costs will be drawn from a £40 million budget earmarked for local TV in the latest government settlement with the BBC.

“Local TV providers will need to produce quality content that people want to watch, which in turn will make it attractive to advertisers,” he continued.