Most local analogue commercial radio stations are required to produce a certain number of hours of locally-made programming. Under legislation passed in 2010, these stations are not only able to broadcast their locally-made hours from within their licence area, but may instead broadcast from studios that are based within a larger area approved by Ofcom. These wider areas are known as ‘approved areas’. Stations can also share their local hours of programming with other stations located in the same approved area.
In October 2018 Ofcom introduced a new set of larger approved areas in England to give stations more flexibility in their broadcasting arrangements. We also said that we would consider requests from licensees to create new, bespoke, approved areas, since the statutory framework allows for an approved area in relation to each local analogue service.
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