Norwich shortlisted by Ofcom as pioneer for new local television station

Norwich is set to be among the first 20 cities in the country to pioneer new 'local' television, the broadcasting regulator Ofcom confirmed today.

The regulator has whittled down a long-list of 65 cities around the country to a shortlist of 20 where it believes a local - rather than regional - television station could operate.

Ofcom said the 20 cities had been selected 'from the sites where local TV is technically possible and we consider there is a potential local service operator, and selected to achieve a range of locations across the UK, and a range of scales of operation.

'We also take into account evidence of strong local demand.'

Norwich was alone with Cambridge in the East of England where broadcast spectrum – a digital TV signal – could be made available for a local channel, according to the original list of 65 candidate cities.

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According to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, up to 155,000 households around Norwich would be able to receive it.

But it appears that Cambridge has not made Ofcom's final cut.

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The 20 cities shortlisted today by the regulator are Norwich, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Southampton and Swansea.

Ofcom said it would give further details in a consultation paper later this month.

* Join the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #norwichtv

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