Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has pulled the plug on plans to roll out a further 13 local TV channels across the UK.
Over 30 local TV stations – including the likes of Made in Leeds, That’s Manchester and Made in Liverpool – have been launched since 2013 as part of a government plan to give a new voice to local communities.
Many have however struggled to attract viewers and been beset by financial difficulties.
And Ofcom have now put a stop on plans to seek people to run new channels in 13 areas, including Bangor, Stoke-on-Trent and Stratford-upon-Avon.
The regulator said it had taken the decision in light of “the significant financial challenges that the local TV sector is facing” and that continuing with its initial plans would “have an adverse impact on the economic viability of the local TV sector”.
Local TV was launched in the UK under a US-style plan laid out in 2011 by then culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.
At the time he said: “It is easy to be patronising about hyper-local services, but take a look at the evidence of what consumers truly value.
“Eight out of 10 consider local news important. Nearly seven out of 10 adults feel localness of stories is more important than them being professionally produced.”