10.01 Europe/London, August 11, 2011 By Julian Clover

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has published a list of 65 towns and cities that will have the opportunity to host local television services. The locations will now have to make the as to why they should be awarded a licence when the first allocations are made next year.

“These new, local TV services will be a fundamental change in how people get information about their own communities, and how they hold their representatives to account,” said culture secretary Jeremy Hunt. “The first licences will be open to bidders in just a few months. But before then, we need to decide which areas are best placed to pioneer the new service. In deciding the order in which licences should be made available, we need to judge the level of interest from potential broadcasters and audiences, and take the views of companies interested in bidding for the single multiplex licence.”

A series of industry summits will now be held around the UK in Birmingham (18 August), Manchester (19 August), Newcastle (24 August), Cardiff (26 August), Glasgow (9 September) and London (14 September).

Coverage maps will shortly be made available by the regulator Ofcom.