Grimsby and Brighton get own Freeview

 

Grimsby isn't generally known as a hub of media innovation. But the Humberside port is at the forefront of the local television revolution and was yesterday named – along with Brighton and Hove – as one of the first two communities in Britain to get a devoted Freeview station.

From next year, "Lincolnshire Living" will appear in the channel 8 slot to Freeview users in its catchment area. Residents will be able to access shows including The People's Jury, billed as the Grimsby version of Question Time.

Local MPs Austin Mitchell (Labour, Great Grimsby) and Martin Vickers (Conservative, Cleethorpes) will be the envy of Westminster with opportunities to argue on camera for the delight of their voters. Other shows will include Lincolnshire Rambles, highlighting local issues, and Vox, a show made by teenagers.

The station builds on the legacy of Channel 7, which has been broadcasting on Lincolnshire cable television for 15 years. It will increase its output to 24 hours a day, though much of the content will be repeats. Brighton's Latest TV will have more than its share of celebrities to focus on and already has a relationship with DJ Fatboy Slim from its incarnation as a news-and-entertainment website. It hopes to feature local residents such as Steve Coogan and David Walliams on its show Brighton Lights.

Ofcom expects to award local channel licences in 17 other areas, including London, Leeds and Manchester, by the end of the year.

The stations will fund themselves through advertising and sponsorship and can receive grants of up to £150,000 in their first year from the BBC on condition that they provide a daily news service.

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