Community Radio Fund Panel

Published: 2 November 2023

The Community Radio Fund Panel meets as required to examine applications and make awards from the Community Radio Fund.

Section 359 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it possible for a fund for community radio operators to be set up, and for Ofcom to administer it and “make such grants as they consider appropriate” to community radio licensees.

Government (specifically, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) provides some funding to be distributed to community radio stations through such a fund. Only holders of a community radio licence can seek a grant from this Fund.

Terms of reference for the Community Radio Fund Panel (PDF, 155.3 KB)

Meeting agendas will be published here.

It is our policy to keep board and committee minutes on our site for two years only. Older minutes can be accessed via the National Archives.

The Community Radio Fund Panel comprises two Non-Executive Members and one Executive Member. Its members are:

Mark Jones (Chair)

Mark has extensive radio reporting, production and management experience. In the 1980s he worked to establish and support small community radio groups across the UK as well as lobbying for change in UK broadcasting law. He joined the BBC to trial small scale local radio in the Birmingham area before leading the team making opt-out programming in south Cumbria. He was BBC Radio Five Live’s regional reporter in the north west of England for over a decade.

Most recently, Mark was Assistant Editor at BBC Radio Gloucestershire, combining programming, financial and management responsibilities.

Mark joined the Panel on 1 November 2021. His appointment runs until 31 March 2026.

Clare McNally-Luke

Clare is Head of Audio Research & Insight in the Strategy & Research Group at Ofcom. She began her career working in Commercial Radio at Metro Radio Group / Emap plc. Clare then moved to the BBC where she was based in the Radio & Music HQ working with the Director of BBC Radio and the management team on overall strategy and performance. Clare is keen to be involved in this important sector of the radio industry focused on close engagement with the community.

Clare joined the Panel on 1 April 2024. Her appointment runs until 31 March 2027.

Alan Stewart

Alan has considerable experience of broadcasting regulation and more recently of running community-based charities. He was Head of the Independent Television Commission in Scotland before moving into the Office of Communications at the end of 2003 as Head of Broadcasting for Scotland. He was responsible for relations with broadcasters, including community radio licensees. After leaving full time employment with Ofcom in 2018, he served a term as an independent director of his local community trust and is currently board member of an environmental charity. He also has an interest in minority language provision having taken forward Ofcom’s statutory responsibilities for Gaelic broadcasting then later carrying out consultancy work in a related area. He is an occasional visiting lecturer at universities in Scotland on the subjects of media regulation and  consumption trends. Alan is also a Commissioner of Boundaries Scotland.

Alan became a Member of the Panel on 1 April 2021. His appointment runs until 31 March 2026.

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