Potential local TV locations in the UK, some of which could be run by regional newspaper companies, have been revealed by the Government.
In total 65 towns and cities across the country from Aberdeen to Plymouth and Londonderry to Norwich have been identified by Ofcom as potential sites for the channels which are set to go live in 2014.
The first licences will be open to bidders in just a few months and a consultation has been published asking people in the potential towns and cities why they think they should be among the first selected to bid for a local TV licence. It is expected that the initial list will be narrowed down to about 20 contenders for the first set of licences before the end of the year.
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “These new local TV services will be a fundamental change in how people get information about their own communities and how they hold their representatives to account.
“There’s a huge appetite for local news and information in communities the length and breadth of the country. I want people to be able to watch television that’s truly relevant to them.”
However Newspaper Society president Georgina Harvey has expressed fears that it could take some advertising away from local newspapers and Johnston Press chief executive John Fry said in the company’s annual report that he doubted the scheme would make money.
In the next few weeks Mr Hunt will host a series of events around the country to discuss how local TV could provide a valuable service in different communities. These will take place in:
•Birmingham (18 August)
•Manchester (19 August)
•Newcastle (24 August)
•Cardiff (26 August)
•Glasgow (9 September)
•London (14 September)