UK Government

Department for Culture, Media And Sport: Successful bidders announced for next stage of IFNC pilot process

Press Release   •   Jan 13, 2010 11:05 GMT

Issued on behalf of the Independently Funded News Consortia pilot Selection Panel

Eight consortia have been successful in the first phase of the selection process for Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) pilots.  An expert panel is selecting a preferred bidder for pilots taking place in Wales, Scotland, and the Tyne Tees/Border region in England and will now invite the eight successful consortia to move forward into detailed dialogue.

Three bids in Wales, two bids in Scotland and three bids in the Tyne Tees/Borders region met the published evaluation criteria and will now go through to the next stage of the procurement process. They are:


  • ITN with Newsquest, Northcliffe Media, Tindle, Boomerang and ITV Wales news staff;
  • Tinopolis;
  • UTV with NWN Media Ltd.


  • Johnston Press with the Herald and Times Group, Tinopolis, and D C Thomson;
  • STV with ITN and Bauer Radio

Tyne Tees/Borders

  • ITN with Johnston Press, Newsquest, Metro Radio, University of Sunderland and ITV Tyne Tees and Borders news staff;
  • Trinity Mirror with the Press Association and Ten Alps;
  • UTV.

The announcement follows the first meeting of the independent selection panel, chaired by Richard Hooper, which assessed 13 bids against a pre-agreed selection criteria.

Richard Hooper said:

“Let me be clear about what we are looking for: quality news reporting with a mix of local, regional and national (in the case of Wales and Scotland) audiences firmly in mind; genuine innovation, not just business as usual; strong multiplatform applications working together across the web, local newspapers, local radio and television where appropriate, utilising each different medium’s special characteristics; and finally, a revenue generation model that aspires to longer term sustainability.”

IFNCs were a commitment of the Digital Britain White Paper published on 16 June 2009. The Digital Economy Bill, introduced last November contains clauses that create new powers for Ofcom to procure IFNCs from 2013. Ahead of this the Government will run three pilot IFNCs. The selection of the three pilot IFNC commenced on 26 November 2009 with the issue of a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire.    The Invitation to Participate in Dialogue will be issued formally to the eight successful bidders on 14 January 2010.

Notes to Editors

1. The panel is chaired by Richard Hooper CBE. The other panel members are Fru Hazlitt, Val Atkinson, Glyn Mathias, William Perrin and Marc Reeves. Stewart Purvis is acting as an advisor to the panel. More information about IFNCs along with biographies of the panel members can be found at:

2. Details of the procurement process are published here:

The evaluation criteria for the pre-qualification questionnaires were:

  • Overall cost and value for money
  • Management strength and processes (inc. consortium working, staff management)
  • Depth and breadth of the service offered
  • Relevance to and understanding of regional issues, culture and opportunities
  • Strength and credibility of the proposal for delivery including aspects such as:
  • Journalistic / news gathering
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Multi-platform approach
  • Technical management


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