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 based elsewhere 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 published a statement (the ‘October 2018 Statement’) that introduced, following consultation, a new set of 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.
Following consultation, Ofcom has approved three new approved areas which Global Radio has asked Ofcom to create for a number of FM local radio licences it owns.
These new approved areas for Global Radio are as follows:
Following this decision, we have also approved a number of Format change requests submitted by Global Radio enabling stations located within these new approved areas to co-locate and share their local programming hours.