Ofcom awards eight new community radio licences

29 March 2018

Ofcom has today announced the award of eight new community radio licences in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The new stations will serve communities in Bristol, Maldon, and Newcastle and Gateshead, in England; Belfast in Northern Ireland; as well as Cumbernauld, and Musselburgh, Tranent and Wallyford in Scotland.

Community radio services are provided on a not-for-profit basis, focusing on the delivery of specific social benefits to a particular area or community of interest.

More than 250 community radio stations are currently on air today.

The eight new community radio licences have been awarded to:

  • BE FM (BE FM Belfast Limited)

Contact name: Neil Curran

BE FM will be a cross-community and non-denominational Christian radio station for listeners in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

  • Cumbernauld FM (Cumbernauld FM Limited)

Contact name: Thomas Marshall

Website: www.cumbernauldfm.co.uk

Cumbernauld FM will broadcast to communities in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire.

  • Juice (Juice Belfast Limited)

Contact name: Sarah McKinney

Juice will serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

  • Maldon Community Radio (St Peter’s Studio and Community Radio Limited)

Contact name: Nick Skeens

Maldon Community Radio will now cover a larger part of the Maldon District area in Essex. (It already broadcasts a community radio service across a smaller area. It will need to surrender that licence should it take up this licence offer.).

  • Pride FM Tyneside (Pride Community Network Limited)

Contact name: Peter Darrant


Pride FM Tyneside will be a radio station for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Newcastle and Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

  • Radio Saltire (Radio Saltire (SCIO)

Contact name: David Martin

Website: www.radiosaltire.com

Radio Saltire will be a community radio station for the people of Tranent, Wallyford and Musselburgh, East Lothian.

  • Radio Tyneside (Radio Tyneside)

Contact: Dave Nicholson

Website: www.radiotyneside.co.uk

Radio Tyneside will promote good health and wellbeing to the over 50s in Newcastle and Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

  • SWU.FM (SWU.FM Limited)

Contact: Oliver Watton

Website: www.swu.fm

SWU.FM will broadcast urban, electronic and dance music to young people in Bristol.

The licences are awarded for a five-year period. See a statement setting out the main determining factors for the award of the licences (PDF, 174.8 KB).

Notes to editors

1. In addition to the licence awards detailed above, Ofcom considered a further application, but decided not to award a licence to the following:

  • Saltmarsh Coast (RackSecure Limited), Maldon District, Essex