First Local TV licence awards made

(update 5:55PM) Former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt's vision of local TV stations going on air across the UK has moved another step closer today, with Ofcom announcing the first two successful applicants for a local TV licence. 

Brighton's Latest TV and Grimsby's Lincolnshire Living channel have been given a licence, which will enable them to launch on Freeview channel 8 via a local TV digital multiplex broadcasting from a local transmitter. Both licencees were the sole applicants for the licence in their respective areas.

The Brighton service will use the Whitehawk Hill transmitter to serve its area. Latest TV is part of the organisation that operates a number of local magazines and web portals under the "latest" brand in Brighton and Hove. Founded in 2001 with the introduction of Latest 7 magazine, The Latest is the publisher of one of Europe's biggest selling weekly city magazine. (More information here)

Lincolnshire Living is a channel run by the organisation behind the local Channel 7 cable and internet service in the area. The service will be transmitted northwards from the Belmont transmitter, so will not be available across all of Belmont's service area.

In a statement released by Channel 7 today, Lincolnshire Living’s Executive Producer Lia Nici said: "We’re thrilled to be awarded local TV status, its a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase further the great things Northern Lincolnshire has to offer. We will look to provide viewers with hyper local daily news bulletins, relevant to them and their community, as well as new light entertainment and childrens programming. We’re proud of our region and are keen to represent the diverse and interesting communities we have.
Our ultimate hope would be to help showcase the area to the rest of the UK." (More information here)

Exact start dates for both services are yet to be finalised, with the licence for running the local TV digital multiplex yet to be awarded. It is hoped that local TV stations will start appearing during the course of 2013.

Further licence awards are expected over the coming weeks. Eagerly anticipated will be the award of the London licence - seen as being one of the most commercially viable licences and hotly contested by several major media players, including Archant Media and the company that owns the London Evening Standard.

  Expected coverage areas for the first phase of local TV stations - there have been no applicants to run a station in Swansea or Plymouth as yet:

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