Media group VFG has unveiled plans for a national network of local TV stations spanning the UK.

It has acquired the rights to 36 local terrestrial TV licenses (55% of the total) through the Local Broadcasting Group, a subsidiary in which it holds a 46.4% stake. The network would have a potential audience of four million, competing against the national stations.

LBG has spent £7.4 million amassing the licenses, and has recruited David Lowen (an ex-director of Yorkshire Television) as chief executive and Richard Price (who once chaired Bafta) as chairman.

Enthused VFG chief executive David Stamp: “We intend to bring real value to these licences, which were previously underfunded and split between several different owners, and make local television into a complete service for the community”.

In addition to seven licenses in South West England and 22 in the South East and East Anglia, VFG also has local broadcast rights in York, Ayrshire, Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Firth of Clyde.

Currently only two of the stations are up and running, but the rest are slated for launch within two years.

News source: The Times (London)