Scottish News Consortium wins preferred bidder status for IFNC pilots

SCOTTISH News Consortium made up of rival publishers Johnston Press, Herald & Times Group, DC Thomson and TV production company Tinopolis have been chosen as preferred bidder for the independently funded news consortia pilot scheme for Scotland.

Their proposal for the licence in Scotland to supply alternative independent news provision was chosen over a bid by STV, ITN and Bauer radio who were named reserved.

Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw made the announcement today.

At first blush it appears the SNC have proposed a new website which will act as a portal for 130 separate newspaper partner sites. 

Their proposal was described as "imaginative and innovative cross-platform" and a "credible alternative" to the BBC in Scotland.

Similar bids in Wales see Wales Live (UTV and publishers NWN Media Ltd) selected with the Tyne Tees/Border pilot going to News 3 (Trinity Mirror, PA and Ten Alps).

The Scottish bid will receive £47million funding over two years and occupy the spot currently used by STV regional news.

The Conservative Party have already threatened to rip up the current Government proposals should they win an election expected for May 6.

The idea was born following the publishing of the Digital Britain White Paper report in June 2009.

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