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Manchester operator wins second local TV franchise

The company behind ambitious plans to create a local TV station in Manchester with 63 new jobs has won the franchise for a neighbouring region.

In the last of 19 local TV licences to be handed out, Your TV has been named by media watchdog Ofcom as the operator for Preston and Blackpool.

The company, headed by former BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons, had bid for a number of local TV franchises including Sheffield’s but had been unsuccessful until winning the Manchester licence last month.

Now it is set to expand its operations north of the city after winning the licence covering the two Central Lancashire towns.

There were only two bidders for the Preston and Blackpool franchise – Your TV and Metro 8 Preston.

Announcing the decision today, Ofcom said that while well-resourced, the Metro 8 bid “did not demonstrate an understanding of the needs of the local population.”

It said that YourTV Blackpool & Preston demonstrated “better knowledge of the area, and that its programming would meet the needs of the local area, particularly given its partnership with a local university and its local board.”

Your TV is already planning one of the biggest local TV operations in the country with 63 staff, including 10 video journalists, and 12 news and sports producers based in Manchester.

According to the bid document, the Preston and Blackpool operation will have a further 29 staff.

The full list of Local TV franchise holders is as follows:

Belfast: NvTv

Birmingham: City TV Broadcasting

Brighton & Hove: Latest TV

Bristol: Made in Bristol

Cardiff: Made in Cardiff

Edinburgh: ETV

Glasgow: GTV

Grimsby: Lincolnshire Living

London: London Live

Leeds: Made in Leeds

Liverpool: Bay TV Liverpool

Manchester: YourTV Manchester

Newcastle: Made in Tyne and Wear

Norwich: Mustard

Nottingham: Notts TV

Oxford: That’s Oxford

Preston: YourTV Blackpool & Preston

Sheffield: SLTV/Sheffield Live

Southampton:  That’s Solent