In December last year, Ofcom announced proposals for awarding the first round of local TV licences in 20 areas across the UK.
They have now written to me to confirm that Sheffield and surrounding areas in Rotherham and the Rother Valley will also be included as one of the first areas to have its own local TV station.
Ofcom will assess all applications for local TV licences against the statutory criteria set down by Parliament. The criterion includes meeting the needs of an area, broadening the range of programmes available, increasing local programmes; and also the ability to maintain the proposed service.
Ofcom also expect proposed local TV services to engage with the local democratic process. Therefore applicants will have to consider what programming they put forward to facilitate civic understanding and fair and well-informed debate, through coverage of local news and current affairs.
Licences will be for a 12 year term and as well as broadcasting on digital terrestrial television (Freeview), local TV channels may choose to offer their services on satellite, cable and online.
The deadline for applications is Monday 13 August 2012, with Ofcom anticipating to start awarding licences to successful applicants from this autumn. For more information please visit http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/tv-broadcast-licences/local/