Developments in UK hyperlocal scene

It’s a great few days for the UK hyperlocal scene as several blue chip organisations reveal new projects.  Innovation funders NESTA and the Technology Strategy Board are bringing forward schemes to support new developments in hyperlocal content services and platforms/technology.

A NESTA scheme to invest in new content services and a cracking landscape review of the sector is due tomorrow 29 March 2012 (see their website then, we shall write on it here too).  The Technology Strategy Board scheme is out today with an intro and guidance (thanks to @netwkdNeighds for spotting it live).

In very broad terms, the distinction between the two schemes is that the NESTA programme will focus on new content services, the TSB scheme will focus on technology and platforms upon which content is published. In both cases several tens of thousands are available in a first round, increasing subsequently.  NESTA and TSB will work hand in hand to ensure the right links are made between the different schemes.

As ever on UK hyperlocal matters Talk About Local is firmly in the mix – we are working with NESTA on their programme (more soon) and have a good dialogue with the TSB.

Also up in Stoke-on-Trent it’s good to see the Journalism Foundation (a newish independent UK charity backed by Lebedev money run by Simon Kelner)  working with Talk About Local’s own Mike Rawlins to relaunch PitsnPots.  This is a strong recognition for the excellent work Mike and the ever changing Pits team have put in over the years.  The Journalism Foundation have also published a wonderfully eclectic guide to journalists wanting to set up their own website.

And we already have in its early days the Media Trust’s promising Newsnet. Talk About Local has been talking to Gavin about how we can help this project do more for local web publishers.

All this activity is great news for the sector – for me it reaffirms that a substantial part of the future of what we currently call journalism lies in hyperlocal media. We shall have a great unconference TAL12 to pull all this together on 28 April.

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William Perrin

Founder of Talk About Local, Trustee of the Indigo Trust, member of UK Government transparency panels, former Policy Advisor to UK Prime Minister, former Cabinet Office senior civil servant.Open data do-er, Kings Cross London blogger. Loves countryside. Two kids, not enough sleep.
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