The news was confirmed by local TV multiplex operator Comux today. The promotion follows the end of Gold on Top Up TV, which until last week used channel 26.
Local TV stations affected by the move include STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh - due on air next summer and Made in Cardiff, also going live in 2014. Yet to be licensed stations for Swansea, Bangor and Mold in Wales, plus Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee and Inverness in Scotland will also be in line to claim Freeview channel 26 as their own.
These stations were originally assigned channel 45, before being briefly promoted to channel 41, then 34 and now 26 as higher ranking channel numbers became vacant over the past four months. Unlike in England and Northern Ireland, local TV in Scotland and Wales is unable to use channel 8, as channel 8 is already used by BBC Alba in Scotland and Channel 4 in Wales.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is looking at including local TV stations in a future amendment to rules in the Communications Act, giving local TV prominence near the top of the channel lists for each platform alongside national public service broadcasters, including the BBC and Channel 4.
- The first local TV station to go live on Freeview launches on the 26th November. Estuary TV will serve area around Grimsby, with coverage including North East Lincolnshire and parts of the East Riding of Yorkshire.