Radio broadcast update April 2021
Analogue Commercial Radio
On 10 May 2021, Ofcom invited declarations of intent to apply for the following FM local commercial radio licence. Please click on the ‘area’ in the first column for further detail on the pre-advertisements:
|Area/current Licensee (station)||Current expiry||Proposed expiry date following re-award||Closing date for declarations of intent|
|Tunbridge Wells/Sevenoaks (PDF, 189.9 KB)||7 July 2022||7 July 2034||3pm on 4 June 2021|
Invitations to apply under fast-track
Ofcom has received one declaration for the following licence, from the current licensee. We are therefore inviting the incumbent licensee to re-apply for the licence under the ‘fast track’ procedure as set out in Ofcom’s guidelines:
|Area (station)||Current Licensee|
|Sunderland (Sun FM)||Sun FM LImited|
Licence renewals granted in this period
A seven year renewal has been granted to the following:
|Area (station)||Current Licensee|
|Worthing (More Radio)||Splash FM Limited|
Ofcom has set the financial terms for the renewal of each of the three Independent National Radio licences at a nominal cash bid of £10,000 per annum with a 0% PQR (percentage of qualifying revenue).
Classic FM and Absolute Radio have accepted these terms, and their licences have been renewed for a further ten-year period commencing 1 May 2021. talkSPORT has until 31 December 2021 to accept or reject the new financial terms. If the terms are accepted, its licence will be renewed for a further ten-year period commencing 1 January 2022.
Analogue station Format changes
Each station has as part of its licence, a ‘Format’ which outlines what the essential nature of the service is and details any specific expectations of that service.
Any changes to a format can only be made by following the correct procedure and with the appropriate permission from Ofcom.
Greatest Hits Radio (Plymouth) (PDF, 236.8 KB)
Imagine Radio (Stockport) (PDF, 221.4 KB)
Imagine Radio (Buxton) (PDF, 224.0 KB)
Original 106 (Aberdeen) (PDF, 280.9 KB)
Kingdom FM (Fife) (PDF, 284.8 KB)
Update to localness guidelines
Ofcom has today updated its localness guidelines for commercial radio, to reflect some recent changes in station ownership and names and to provide some other minor clarifications. In particular, the guidelines now make clear that where we say “it is our expectation that the main presenter or host of any programme broadcast during a station's locally-made hours should be physically located within that station's licensed or approved area”, “physically located” in this context does not necessarily mean a studio building – it could equally mean a presenter broadcasting from their home, or a public location such as a café.
Small-scale DAB: latest multiplex licence awards
The following small-scale radio multiplex licence awards were announced by Ofcom on 5 May:
- Cardiff (Caerdydd) (PDF, 145.6 KB)
- Edinburgh (PDF, 125.1 KB)
- King’s Lynn (PDF, 139.4 KB)
- Leeds (PDF, 140.1 KB)
- Norwich (PDF, 139.2 KB)
Community digital sound programme (C-DSP) licence applications received
Community digital sound programme licence applications received between 31 March and 27 April 2021 can be found on our website. Applications have been made for services in Basingstoke. Bradford, Glasgow and Winchester.
C-DSP licences issued during in this period
|Drive 105 (Community Radio) Ltd||Derry/Londonderry|
Digital sound programme service (DSPS) licences issued during this period
|Gateway Community Media CIC|
|The Hits Club Radio LTD|
|Double Stack Media Limited|
DAB multiplex variations
The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:
Removal of Absolute Radio – A rock-oriented station combining new music with classic album tracks aimed at 25 to 44-year-olds.
Addition of Absolute Radio 10s – Absolute Radio 10s plays the best music of the last decade from a rock, pop and dance perspective.
Addition of Absolute 70s – A 70s-centric music service
|Addition of Peak Radio – A radio service featuring music from the 90s through to current chart hits, as well as news stories and bulletins.|
|Addition of Point Blank Radio – Classic and contemporary electronic music.||Surrey|
|Addition of MAX – A radio service broadcasting old school dance music and R&B, and specialist dance music programming.|
Exeter, Torbay, and North Devon
Wolverhampton and Shropshire
|Addition of Hot Gold Radio – Remembering the good times with the best in feel good tracks from the 70s, 80s & 90s.||Bournemouth|
|Addition of Aspen Waite Radio – A mainstream music service mainly playing rock music.||South East Wales|
Analogue Community Radio
Licence extensions granted in this period
A five year extension has been granted to the following:
|Service name||Licensee||Location||New expiry date|
|NLive Radio||The University of Northampton Enterprises Limited||Northampton||30 September 2026|
Key Commitments changes
Each station has as part of its licence, ‘Key Commitments’ which outline what the essential nature of the service is and details any specific expectations of that service. Licensees may request changes to a station’s Key Commitments. Information about the process, as well as an application form, are on our website.
Changes to Key Commitments agreed in this period:
Lionheart Radio (PDF, 240.6 KB)
Coverage improvement and extension requests
Coverage extensions agreed:
|Current licence area||Witney, Eynsham, Chipping Norton and surrounding areas|
|Extended licence area||Witney, Eynsham, Chipping Norton, Farringdon and surrounding areas|
|Reasons for agreeing to the extension|
Increase in licensed area: An extension via a relay at Farringdon was AGREED. The increase in the size of the adult population served was not deemed to be significant.
Exceptional circumstances: Ofcom did not need to consider whether there were ‘exceptional circumstances’ to justify an increase in this case.