A new local TV service for Bristol, to be broadcast on a prominent Freeview channel, could be based in Filton if Ofcom approves an application made by a local firm this week.
If successful in its application, the Made in Bristol channel will be broadcast on Freeview Channel 8, giving it a prominent position in the Electronic Programme Guide.
The station would be based at the SWNS Media Centre in Emma-Chris Way – on the Abbey Wood Business Park, near Filton Abbey Wood railway station.
Plans for local TV stations were announced by the Government last December. Speaking at the time, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
“Local TV will be a fundamental change in broadcasting in this country, meeting a real demand for local news and content. We are now putting in place the measures needed to establish a series of commercially viable local TV stations.”
“I am confident these new stations will provide local communities with programming which is relevant to their daily lives, will support local democracy, boost the big society and enhance local communities.”
The BBC will contribute up to £40 million to the nationwide project – up to £25 million towards capital costs of building the local TV infrastructure and up to £5 million per year over three years to acquire local content.
Ofcom is expected to begin awarding local TV licences in September 2012 and the first stations could be on air by Autumn 2013.
A publicity brochure put out by Made in Bristol outlines their concept of local TV as follows:
“It will be a forum to discuss local issues and stimulate debate, providing a platform for the promotion of local business and informing the local audience about what’s happening in their locality. It will play a vital role in contributing to local democracy, holding local politicians to account through news and current affairs coverage. It will be the window into what is happening in your area in the world of arts and entertainment.”
The company says it will to launch a raft of new programmes dedicated to Bristol, concentrating on the city itself and not the region as the current TV landscape allows.
Positions will be created for journalists, producers, sales staff and technicians.
Made in Bristol Station Manager Martin Winter said:
“Bristol has long been neglected by [not] having hyperlocal coverage and we’re looking forward to creating content by the people of Bristol for the people of Bristol.”
“We will provide news, sport, current affairs, cultural and entertainment programmes that go to the heart of this great city.”
Made in Bristol’s partners include:
- Engage Sports Media
- Ambassador Theatre Group – Bristol Hippodrome
- Globosat Ltd
- The Ary Network
- North Bristol NHS
- Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
Mr Winter said the new station would also be looking to work together with other hyperlocal media, including online newspapers and bloggers.