Local television in the United Kingdom

Local television in the United Kingdom, described in legislation as Local Digital Television Programme Services (L-DTPS), provides a television station for a specific local area. Successful applicants are awarded a sole licence for their chosen area, and are expected to locate their studios within the same area. They broadcast on the digital terrestrial (DTT) system, as used by the national Freeview service.

The independent regulator, Ofcom, invites applications in all areas where transmission is technically possible, and assesses proposals against the statutory criteria.[1]


The multiplexes that the stations operate on are operated by Comux, owned by the local TV broadcasters with operations run by Canis Media.[2]

In England and Northern Ireland, the local channels were on channel 8 and in Scotland and Wales, they were originally given channel 45; however, following a number of channel closures, channel 23 was used. However, following the closure of BBC Three, the local stations moved to channel 7 in England and Northern Ireland, and channel 8 in Scotland and Wales. Some stations are also available (in their local areas) via cable (Virgin Media) channel 159 and satellite (Sky) channel 117 (channel 134 in Wales because channel 117 is already occupied). Channels 168, 169 and 209 (previously 216) are used if a region wants multiple local TV channels on Sky.

Phase 1

In May 2012, twenty one areas were selected to invite bids for providing a local TV service.[3]

Primary location Transmitter Winning operator[4] Launch date Other bids[5]
Belfast Divis NVTV 29 September 2014 Made in Belfast
Birmingham Sutton Coldfield Big Centre TV 28 February 2015 Bham TV, Made in Birmingham, YourTV Birmingham
Brighton and Hove Whitehawk Hill Latest TV 28 August 2014 none
Bristol Mendip Made in Bristol 8 October 2014 none
Cambridge Madingley Cambridge TV[6] 18 August 2015 none
Cardiff Wenvoe Made in Cardiff 15 October 2014 Cardiff Local TV
Edinburgh Craigkelly STV Edinburgh[7] 12 January 2015 Edinburgh News Network, Made in Edinburgh, Metro8 Edinburgh
Glasgow Black Hill STV Glasgow[7] 2 June 2014 Glasgow TV, Made in Glasgow, Metro8 Glasgow
Grimsby Belmont Estuary TV[8] 26 November 2013 none
Leeds Emley Moor Made in Leeds[9] 6 November 2014 Leeds TV, Metro8 Leeds, NORTH, YourTV Leeds
Liverpool Winter Hill


Bay TV Liverpool[10] 4 December 2014 Made in Liverpool, Metro8 Liverpool, Our-TV, YourTV Liverpool
London Crystal Palace


London Live[11] 31 March 2014 London8, LondonTV, Made in London, YourTV London
Manchester Winter Hill That's Manchester 31 May 2015 Made in Manchester, Manchester News Channel, MCR TV, Metro8 Manchester, YourTV Manchester
Norwich Tacolneston Mustard TV[12][13] 24 March 2014 NR ONE
Nottingham Waltham


Notts TV 27 May 2014 Television Nottingham
Newcastle/Sunderland Pontop Pike Made in Tyne & Wear[14] 12 November 2014 Metro8 Newcastle, NEON-TV, YourTV Newcastle
Oxford Oxford That's Oxfordshire[15] 17 April 2015 Oxford 8, Oxford 8
Preston/Blackpool Winter Hill That's Lancashire [16] 24 August 2015 Metro8 Preston, YourTV Blackpool & Preston
Sheffield Sheffield Sheffield Live TV 23 September 2014 Metro8 Sheffield, YourTV Sheffield
Southampton/Portsmouth Rowridge That's Solent 26 November 2014 TV Solent
Swansea Kilvey Hill Bay TV Swansea[17] 7 July 2016 Love Swansea

In August 2012 fifty seven applications were received to provide these services.[18][19] Bristol, Brighton and Hove, and Grimsby attracted only one bid each.[20] Plymouth and Swansea received no bids from potential broadcasters.[21]

† The owners of Birmingham licence City8 went into administration before the channel launched. The licence was re-awarded to another operator, Big Centre TV.[22]

Phase 2

In March 2013, Ofcom announced another thirty areas selected to invite bids for local television services, in addition to re-advertising the previously un-awarded Swansea and Plymouth locations.[23]

Primary location Transmitter Winning operator[4] Launch date Other bids[5][24]
Aberdeen Durris STV2 (Aberdeen)
Ayr Darvel STV2 (Ayr)
Bangor Llanddona not awarded[25] Bay TV Gwynedd
Basingstoke Hannington That's Hampshire
Bedford not awarded
Bromsgrove not awarded
Carlisle Caldbeck That's Carlisle
Derry Londonderry not awarded
Dundee Angus STV2 (Dundee)
Guildford Guildford That's Surrey[26]
Hereford not awarded
Inverness Rosemarkie ICTV (STV Group plc)
Kidderminster Kidderminster not awarded
Limavady not awarded
Lincolnshire Belmont That's Lincolnshire
Luton Sandy Heath not awarded
Maidstone/Tonbridge Bluebell Hill KMTV † TVKent
Malvern Malvern not awarded
Middlesbrough Bilsdale Made in Teesside[27] TeesVision
Mold Moel-y-Parc Bay TV Clwyd[17] Serch TV Mold
Plymouth Caradon Hill not awarded
Reading Hannington That's Reading[28]
Salisbury Salisbury That's Salisbury[29]
Scarborough Oliver's Mount Yorkshire Coast TV
Stoke-on-Trent not awarded Bay TV Stoke
Stratford-upon-Avon Lark Stoke Upon 8
Tonbridge Bluebell Hill see Maidstone
York Bilsdale The York Channel[27] none

† Maidstone and Tonbridge were initially advertised separately.


  1. "Licensing Local Television". Ofcom. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  2. "Ofcom awards local TV 'multiplex' licence". Ofcom. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  3. Deans, Jason (10 May 2012). "Ofcom invites bids to run local TV services in 21 towns and cities". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  4. 1 2 "List of L-DTPS Award Decisions". Ofcom. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  5. 1 2 "List of Previous L-DTPS Licence Applicants". Ofcom. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  6. "Ofcom awards Cambridge and Scarborough local TV licences". Ofcom. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Ofcom awards local TV licences in Scotland". Ofcom. 11 January 2013.
  8. Brown, Maggie (4 September 2013). "Local TV steps up activity ahead of launch". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  9. "Ofcom awards Leeds local TV licence". Ofcom. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  10. "Ofcom awards Liverpool local TV licence". Ofcom. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  11. "Ofcom awards London local TV licence". Ofcom. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  12. "Ofcom awards second set of local TV licences". Ofcom. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  13. "Mustard: Norwich local TV service to create 14 new jobs". BBC News. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  14. "Made In Tyne and Wear awarded local TV licence". PressGazette. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  15. "Rantzen set to star on That's Oxford TV". Oxford Times. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  16. "Ofcom awards Preston local TV licence". Ofcom. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  17. 1 2 "Ofcom awards Swansea and Mold local TV licences". Ofcom. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  18. Reynolds, John (14 August 2012). "Lebedev, Johnson and Norris to fight it out for London TV". MediaWeek. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  19. "List of Applicants". Ofcom. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  20. Ray, Bill (14 August 2012). "Wannabe media barons outed in UK local telly bid list". The Register. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  21. "Local TV: No bids for Swansea, but two for Cardiff". BBC News. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  22. "Birmingham local TV firm City TV in administration". BBC News. 8 August 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  23. "Ofcom prepares for second phase of local TV licensing". Ofcom. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  24. "List of Current L-DTPS Licence Applicants". Ofcom. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  25. "Local TV Award decision: non-award for Bangor" (PDF). Ofcom. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  26. "Local TV Award: Guildford" (PDF). Ofcom. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  27. 1 2 "Ofcom awards York and Middlesbrough local TV licences". Ofcom. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  28. "Local TV Award: Reading" (PDF). Ofcom. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  29. "Local TV Award: Salisbury" (PDF). Ofcom. Retrieved 5 January 2015.

External links

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