Manchester has been named as one of 20 cities in the UK where local TV stations could be set up.
As well as Manchester,the local TV areas, which could have stations by 2014, will be: Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Southampton and Swansea.
Manchester has been put on the first shortlist as an area 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.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
“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.
The Government is also taking a number of steps to create a new statutory framework for licensing that 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.