Apply for a radio broadcast licence

23 January 2017

The closing date for applications to broadcast a temporary FM radio station using a Short-term Restricted Service Licence (‘S-RSL’) between 24 May and 28 June 2017  was 1 December 2016. The applications which have been received are listed at the link below.

Ofcom will not now accept any further applications to provide S-RSLs between 24 May and 28 June 2017 in the geographical areas listed at the link below. We may, however, still be able to accept applications for broadcasts in other parts of the UK during this period.

Details of applications received


An SRSL is a short-term radio licence broadcast on AM or FM analogue radio, granted for coverage of events, religious festivals or for trial broadcasts in preparation for applying for a longer-term licence. SRSLs are usually granted for a maximum of 28 consecutive days and are for small-scale community use. The service is restricted in both coverage and duration to make optimal use of the radio spectrum available for this type of licence, and to satisfy as far as is practicable the level of demand from applicants.

Short Term RSLs: Guidance notes for licence applicants and licensees PDF, 333.1 KB
Updated November 2015

Long Term RSL and Audio Distribution Systems RSLs: Guidance notes for licence applicants PDF, 531.8 KB
Updated November 2015

Short Term RSL Application Form DOCX, 231.2 KB

Long Term RSL Application Form RTF, 465.5 KB

Audio Distribution Systems RSL (ADS-RSL) application form RTF, 107.8 KB

ADS-RSL service information form to change or add services to an Audio Distribution Systems RSL licence RTF, 85.0 KB

Short Term RSL standard form licence PDF, 644.4 KB

Long Term RSL standard form licence PDF, 705.3 KB

ADS-RSL standard form licence PDF, 704.2 KB

Ofcom can only accept applications for community radio licences as part of a licensing round, and not at any other time.

To assist our planning for future development, we are inviting prospective applicants for community radio licences to submit an ‘expression of interest’ by 22 December 2016.

To be kept informed about community radio, including notification of when we invite applications as well as other broadcasting issues, sign up for our broadcasting email updates.


Community radio licensing process


Notes of guidance for community radio licence applicants and licensees PDF, 389.9 KB

Community radio licence application form RTF, 2.7 MB

10 years of community radio licensing: Advice for licence applicants PDF, 138.9 KB

Community radio: volunteer input PDF, 111.7 KB
Guidelines for community radio stations that wish to use volunteer time as part of station turnover.

Community Radio standard form licence PDF, 283.0 KB
A sample licence

Community Radio standard form licence for those permitted a fixed revenue allowance (FRA) only from on-air advertising and sponsorship income PDF, 280.0 KB
A sample licence

As existing commercial analogue radio licences approach their expiry date, our general approach is to issue a "pre-advertisement", inviting current or potential licensees to declare their intentions to apply. If more than one applicant declares an interest, we will issue a full re-advertisement of the licence and assess these according to our criteria. We will also advertise any licences that become available, for example if surrendered by the current licence holder.

Planned timetable for the re-advertisement of local analogue commercial radio licences 2016/17 and the advertisements, applications and awards

There are currently no open advertisements.

Local analogue commercial radio standard form licence (Broadcasting Act) PDF, 311.1 KB

Local analogue commercial radio standard form licence (Wireless Telegraphy Act) PDF, 87.1 KB

A more straightforward way of setting up a radio service is to start an internet/intranet radio station. We do not regulate online-only radio services, and so these stations do not require a licence from Ofcom.

However, to play any music on an online station, you will need the relevant licences from the music royalty collection agencies, PPL and PRS for Music. These organisations operate separately from Ofcom, and you will need to contact them directly to find out if there are any additional requirements and costs.

Compliance checklist for radio broadcast content PDF, 71.2 KB