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Ofcom will consider local TV licence applications from a further 14 'secondary conurbations'

Credit: jsawkins on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Communications regulator Ofcom has today named 20 cities where local TV stations could be set up.

The cities are being put forward as where local TV is "technically possible" and where there is "strong local demand".

The 20 cities – Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Southampton and Swansea – are the locations Ofcom will advertise licences for if proposed legislation is passed by Parliament.

The regulator said it would consider applications for licences for 14 "secondary conurbations"  where coverage is good enough.

The additional sites, which "should be in areas where there is an interested local service operator" are: Aberdeen, Ayr, Basingstoke, Cambridge, Derry/Londonderry, Dundee, Guildford, Maidstone, Middlesbrough, Mold, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent, Stratford-upon-Avon and York.

"We propose to ask applicants for the multiplex licence how many sites they will cover, on top of this minimum. We propose to award the multiplex licence partly based on the extent of this additional coverage," Ofcom said in a release.

Ofcom's list of proposed cities for consultation is based on 65 locations announced by the culture secretary Jeremy Hunt in August. Ofcom had identified the 65 areas as suitable for local TV stations.

A government consultation then asked broadcasters and audiences to argue why their town or city should be selected.

This process was expected to help filter the list down to around 20 contenders for the first round of licensing.

Further detail about the proposals will be sent out by the regulator in a consultation by Ofcom on its approach to local TV licensing later this month.

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