Ofcom's Community Radio Fund Panel met on Monday 30 January to consider applications for the second round of grant awards for 2011/12. In summary, at the time of the meeting:
- The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has allocated £442,000 for the Community Radio Fund for 2011/12 (a further £20,000 was allocated by DCMS to other community radio projects)
- In the first round of funding in June 2011, the Panel made grants totalling £225,403, leaving £216,597
- A further £20,548 was returned to the fund from previous grant recipients bringing the total amount available in this round of grants to £237,145
- 63 applications were considered
- Funding applications totalled £1,116,361
- 16 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £237,145
- 47 applicants were not awarded a grant
Second round of applications for funding in 2011/12
The Panel reviewed each application and awarded funding based on the information provided, and with reference to the Community Radio Fund guidance notes. The Panels decisions were for:
- a full award;
- a partial award; or
- not to award any funding.
The average grant in this round was £14,821; the average grant for individual station awards, that is excluding the grants benefitting more than one station, was £13,569. A table setting out the awards is at the end of this statement.
Issues of note arising from the Panel meeting
In the current financial climate the Panel feels strongly that, as much as possible, grants from the Community Radio Fund should help further a stations financial stability and future sustainability. Therefore, even though the Panel does consider grants for community outreach or volunteer support posts, for example, (and the Panel recognises these are core station functions) it favours, as stated in our guidance notes, applications focusing on posts that will promote long-term financial security and those that may become self-sustaining.
With regard to the applications the Panel considered in this funding round, it would like to make the following points:
- A grant from the Fund for new stations is not a foregone conclusion, and applicants need to make their case sufficiently well for the Panel to be confident that a grant will be well-spent, and enhance the future viability and sustainability of the station.
- The Panel would like to remind applicants to take due note of the published guidance as well as the guidelines included within the application form when completing applications. Some applications in this round sought funding for items that the panel considered ineligible. This included, for example, applications for vehicle costs, website costs, printing and publicity costs. Applicants need to refer to the list of exclusions that the Fund cannot support, which is listed in Annex A of the Community Radio Fund Guidance Notes. (http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/broadcast/radio-ops/crf/crfguidancenotes.pdf)
- Some applicants did not include sufficient information, job descriptions and/or work plans in their submissions for staff funding (question four of the grant application specifies that this is a requirement). This information is important to the Panel in order to consider whether the job description of the post to be filled corresponds with the outline description given in an application, or alternatively that the work plan for the post-holder matches the work priorities outlined in the Fund application.
- With regard to roles specifically to raise funds for stations, such as fundraiser and business development roles, the Panel considers that grants for such roles can be deemed a success if the post holder is able to raise, the equivalent of their own salary in the course of the grant spend, as well as securing funding towards station costs, and in so doing make the role self-sustaining and likely to continue once the grant has been spent.
- Lastly, the Panel would like to emphasise to previous grant recipients the importance of good quality feedback on previous grant spends and that this information will be taken into account in the decision-making process (question twelve of the grant application, and separately in the grant report form). For example, for posts that included fundraising the Panel would like to know how much money the postholder raised.
The Panel considers promoting long-term sustainability a critical, core activity, and will take special note of novel proposals that have this aim, such as those focusing on fundraising and business development. The Panel also continues to believe there is scope for collaborative working or joint applications from stations.
Applications for the first round of funding in 2012/13
- Application will be invited on 9 April 2012, with a closing date of 11 May 2012.
- The Panel will meet to make decisions on these applications on 25 June 2012.
- £429,000 will be available for the 2012/13 Fund period.
The Panel will give priority to those applicants who have not received funding in previous years. However, the Panel would urge all applicants to take note of the remarks outlined above.
Summary of grants awarded in the second round for 2011/12
| Station|| Location|| Purpose|| Amount
| 107.8 Academy FM Thanet and 105.9 Academy FM Folkestone || Thanet, Kent and Folkestone, Kent || Business Development Officer working across both stations || £16,092
| Preston FM (with partners across the sector) || Preston || Training Toolkit Project and Coordinator. Sector project to improve training delivery and revenue. || £31,089
| 96.5 Bolton fm || Bolton || Roadshow Coordinator (p/t) || £10,014
| BigglesFM 104.8 || Biggleswade || Fundraiser / Income and Development Manager || £15,000
| Dunoon Community Radio || Dunoon || Station Sustainability & Development Officer (p/t) || £13,469
| Lincoln City Radio || Lincoln || Business Development Manager || £ 9,085
| RWSfm || Bury St Edmunds || Station Manager || £15,000
| 105.3 Zack FM || Forest Heath, West Suffolk || Fundraising Coordinator (p/t) || £13,278
| BCB 106.6FM || Bradford || Volunteer Training and Support Worker || £15,422
| Bute FM || Rothesay, Isle of Bute || Business Development Manager (p/t) || £13,520
| Crescent Community Radio || Rochdale || Sustainability Manager || £15,435
| Gravity FM || Grantham || Station Coordinator || £13,535
| Indigo 106.6fm || Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria || Station Manager and Development Post || £18,250
| Phoenix FM || Brentwood, Essex || Fundraising Manager || £15,000
| Radio Dawn 107.6FM || Nottingham || Business Development Officer (p/t) || £14,956
| Saint FM Community Radio || Burnham on Crouch|| Station Manager (p/t)|| £ 8,000