Business Plan describes to potential donors all our charitable benefits

Copies of our Business Plan are now available for consideration by potential donors and investors. Our proposition is unique, and Hereward Media is here to create a new way of addressing skills gaps, and a new way to bring Local TV to a region which can garner huge social benefits from such a service.

As an ancillary output from our training, Hereward Television will empower the Peterborough and Fenlands communities to reach a better understanding of how the small screen and the internet works.  We will illustrate ways to make best use of it, and demonstrate how everyone can benefit from an analysis of the media's inner workings as both creators and as recipients.

Our delivery mechanisms will include websites (including the news service which will be found here at www.hereward.net), television (www.hereward.tv) and an IT and creative academy (www.hereward.academy). All these domain names have been secured.

The name 'Hereward' is very much associated with the media landscape of Peterborough. It is still the name which is most well-known as the local radio presence in the city. Hereward Radio began in July 1980 with the strapline “the station you can really call your own. When the AM and FM frequencies were split into different services in 1992, the name was changed to Hereward FM. This brand remained in place until January 2009.

Because of nearly three decades of familiarity, the 'Hereward' identity was one we wanted to resurrect.

In terms of premises, we have the offer of a purpose-built broadcast unit rent-free for five years as a donation to the project. There will be service charges and business rates to secure funding for, but the generosity of the owners of the property in question has been exceptional.

Working with accredited training providers, Hereward Television's courses will give something meaningful to all those who engage with us, whatever their age or social and cultural background.

For those looking for work, or to climb the ladder of achievement and possibility, we aim to provide participants with certificates which will be meaningful to employers everywhere, via relevant accreditation of our courses, via relevant training organisations and recognised industry bodies.

Our web presence will contain news and reviews specifically for Peterborough and its surrounding areas, and will allow our graduates to showcase their web design and writing skills.  Citizen journalism techniques will be honed to create meaningful content. Eventually integrated with this will be systems to capture the heritage of our catchment area, establishing archives which will celebrate the diversity and history of our community. This will be via film, audio and image hubs, and will include some of the content being created as part of our programme production. We will also be providing platforms for networking and exchanges of ideas.

Beneficiaries will also be provided with their own email addresses to assist in Hereward’s brand recognition, and for them to feel part of the project - these will be structured as [name]@hereward.email to distinguish them from staff communications.  To ensure no confusion arises within recipients, signature messages added via the email servers will note that emails from such addresses do not necessarily reflect the policies of Hereward Media.

We are aware that there are some other areas where Local TV licences were put out for tender, and no viable applicants were forthcoming (e.g., Luton and Bedfordshire). As such, if we can test our model for Local TV and demonstrate its viability, the opportunity to expand our brand and charitable training work into other broadcast areas becomes a very real possibility, should Local TV licences for these areas be made available again, or where taken up they are surrendered back to Ofcom - in many respects this is not something that is unexpected according to the original line taken by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, where new and different business models come to the surface.

The barrier to entry into the Local TV market via the Hereward Television route is, in the main, the securing of the relevant TLCS (Virgin Media) and L-DTPS (Freeview) licences from Ofcom. The TLCS should be awarded on the basis of our application alone - very few are turned down; the L-DTPS hinges on the successful lobbying of Ofcom by both Hereward Media and our supporters at Comux - who make the case to Ofcom for where Local TV licences should be made available.

Our capital costs are considerably lower than other equivalent businesses, simply by purchasing 'smarter' by making play of the advances in technology, which have lowered the outgoings necessary for the television broadcast ancillary facet of our training programmes.

Production costs on show formats will be addressed by the expertise of those managing the budgets and outputs of the station, and those making the programmes being enthusiastic promoters to potential partners and backers for their formats.  Hereward Television Station Director Alex Geairns produced a series of six one-hour shows which were broadcast on Sky for less than £1,000 - of this, £750 was for fees and expenses to onscreen and offscreen professional talent employed for the format. It's not what you do, it's the way that you do it.

In terms of marketing, Hereward Media will benefit from close working with the landlords of our premises. We will receive exposure from being there, doing 'vox pops' interviews within the complex, and also having quid pro quo arrangements in place with local newspapers and magazines (printing our schedules, for instance).

Broadcasting live from local events will also deliver consumer acceptance and brand recognition. It will also encourage our target beneficiaries to get involved. As previously noted, in 2017 we will already be at both 'The Peterborough CAMRA Beer Festival' and 'The Willow Festival', with other events currently being approached.

Achieving recognition and acceptance of our training modules, which will lead to approved certification, is dependent on approaching the right people at the relevant trade and education bodies. Nik Fox, our Technical Director, already has several contacts which will be followed up in due course.

Hereward Television will pride itself on remaining on the cutting edge of technological advances in broadcasting and website delivery. With costs coming down as time passes by, this will not be a significant drain on our resources to remain 'up to date'.

We are confident that with UK Government support for community agendas remaining steadfast, Local TV will be a priority for this and future administrations. The way we are setting up in stages, from online to Virgin Media, to BT TV and TalkTalk TV, and then Freeview, we will be building up support and access routes as we go.

Hereward Media will continue to develop via an ongoing market analysis, which will include other reception routes, including those currently evolving via tablets and smartphones.

What is clear is that reception of visual media remains a solid component of everyday life in the UK. Even if the scope of programming is evolving in terms of length of content and delivery mechanism, items involving moving pictures are as popular as ever.

It is our objective and challenge is to ensure our training, and hence programmes and content, are relevant to the beneficiaries we seek to serve, and remain so in the years to come.