STV Launches First of Hyper-local Websites Ahead of Nationwide Roll-out

The first six parts of what will be a Scotland-wide network of hyper-local, community-based websites is being launched today by Glasgow-based TV broadcasters, STV.

Following the appointment of two, key digital experts from the newspaper industry – David Milne, from The Herald, and Iain Hepburn, from the Daily Record and Sunday Mail – STV is today launching STV Local.

Pilot sites are being launched in Airdrie, Bellshill, Coatbridge, Cumbernauld, Motherwell and Wishaw.

The plan is to have a Scotland-wide network of sites up and running by sometime next year.

Says STV: “The extensive network of community sites will provide a platform for local businesses, organisations and people in the community to participate directly through sharing information and showcasing the very best their area has to offer, making the network of sites a living interactive experience.

“STV will seek to engage with local communities across Scotland, working with content partners and community contributors to encourage user-generated content, in addition to that provided by the STV editorial team. Contributors can post their own news stories, announcements and pictures, as well as rate or review events, restaurants, salons, tradesmen and other local businesses, add listings for a company or venue, and much more.”

In a STV statement, Alistair Brown, head of digital at STV, is quoted as saying: “This is a brand new, interactive service for local communities in Scotland, which offers a wealth of relevant and easy-to-access content and an opportunity to share information, news and events on a very local level. We’re very excited about the six pilot sites in North Lanarkshire and our community editors have had a great response from businesses and community groups in the area. We will continue to develop and extend the network of sites into town and cities across Scotland, and ultimately we hope that the service will become owned by the local communities themselves.”

Rob Woodward, chief executive of STV, is further quoted, as saying: “Earlier this year we launched digital initiative STV Anywhere, as we strive to make our services and content available to our audiences whenever and wherever they want it. STV Local is a great example of this. This new hyper-local initiative is a significant part of STV’s digital strategy, which is a key growth area for the business. STV has a very strong relationship with communities across Scotland. Through STV Local, we are building a digital platform which will inform people and enable them to share, engage and connect with their community.”