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Local TV areas merged by Ofcom

Four proposed areas for new local TV stations will be merged to create two single licence areas, Ofcom has announced.

The media regulator is merging together the areas of Tonbridge and Maidstone into one licence, known as Maidstone, and Hereford and Gloucester into another licence, known as Gloucester, as part of the second phase of local TV licensing, which originally included 30 locations.

Ofcom said that the two sets of locations, which have not yet been advertised for applicants, “share sufficient cultural similarities and coverage overlaps” and said it believes merging the areas will make applications for the licences more likely.
The second phase of licensing comes after the first part saw 19 licences handed out by Ofcom, including a number to regional newspapers, and in June, the first seven locations in this phase opened for applications.

Ofcom is also consulting on further licence mergers, between Luton and Bedford and Gloucester and Malvern.

Details of the consultation can be found here.