Ofcom has today announced the award of five new community radio licences in south east England.
The new stations will serve communities in or near Andover, Hampshire; Carterton, Oxfordshire; Folkestone, Kent; Newbury and Thatcham, Berkshire, and; Newport, Isle of Wight.
Community radio services are provided on a not-for-profit basis, focusing on the delivery of specific social benefits to a particular geographical community or a community of interest.
Licences have been awarded to:
Andover Radio will be a community service for the general population of Andover, Hampshire.
BFBS Brize Norton is for the military community based at Brize Norton in Carterton, Oxfordshire.
BFBS Shorncliffe is for Gurkha soldiers and their families based at the Sir John Moore Barracks, Folkestone, Kent. The service will be predominantly in Nepali.
Kennet Radio is a station for the people of Newbury and Thatcham in Berkshire.
Vectis Radio is a radio station for Newport, Isle of Wight with a particular focus on serving young people, local musicians and community groups.
A statement setting out the main determining factors for the award of the community radio licences referred to above can be found on the Ofcom website. Community radio licences are awarded for a five-year period.
Community radio, which offers thousands of volunteers the chance to get involved in broadcasting across the UK, is ten years old.
The last decade has seen the number of community radio stations increase from just a handful to more than 230 stations, each reflecting the local needs and interests of its audience.
In March, Ofcom announced its intention to simplify the way community radio stations record their Key Commitments. This revised approach reduces the administrative burden for licensees, and provides these stations greater flexibility to serve their target communities and deliver valuable social benefits.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. In addition to the licence awards detailed above, Ofcom considered one further application, but decided not to award a licence to the following group:
Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries. We have responsibilities across television, radio, video on demand, telecoms, wireless communications and postal services. News releases and other resources for journalists can be found at media.ofcom.org.uk