Radio broadcast update April 2019

07 May 2019

Analogue commercial radio


Ofcom has announced that it has re-awarded the following local FM commercial radio licence to the current licensee. The licence has been re-awarded under Ofcom’s ‘fast-track’ process, as set out in published guidelines, and will be for a period of 12 years from the current expiry date:

Area (station) Current licensee Current expiry date
Northallerton and Thirsk (Minster FM) Minster Sound Radio (York) Ltd 10 June 2019

Licence renewals granted in this period

A twelve-year renewal has been granted to the following:

Area (station) Current licensee
Manchester (XS Manchester) Real Radio XS Limited
Andover (The Breeze) Celador Radio Ltd

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.

Love Sport (Greater London) and Panjab Radio (North London) (PDF, 227.3 KB)
Published 03|05|19

The Breeze (Alton & Haselmere) (PDF, 219.8 KB)
Published 01|05|19

Change of control reviews

Whenever a local radio licence undergoes a ‘change of control’ (for example when it is sold), Ofcom is required under section 355 of the Communications Act 2003 to undertake a review of its programme output.

Specifically, Ofcom must review the likely effect of the change of control on:

  • the quality and range of programmes included in the service;
  • the character of the service, and;
  • the extent to which local material and locally-made programmes are included in the service.

When the review has been completed, Ofcom may amend the content requirements of the licence.

The Breeze (Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester) (PDF, 179.1 KB)
Published 03|05|19

KCFM (Kingston-upon-Hull) (PDF, 194.2 KB)
Published 03|05|19

Digital radio

Two new local radio multiplex licences

Ofcom plans shortly to advertise two new local radio multiplex licences. One will be for the Morecambe Bay area, and the other will be designed to cover North and West Cumbria and Southwest Scotland.

DAB multiplex variations

The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:

Addition of KCFM – A full service station for Kingston-upon-Hull playing broad music with news and information Humberside
Removal of KCFM – A full service station for Kingston-upon-Hull playing broad music with news and information Lincolnshire
Removal of 100% Dragon Hits – 21st Century Hits, Old Skool Anthems and Fresh News Music Somerset
Removal of 100% Whatever – A Music, Comedy and live performance culture service targeting 25-54 year-olds.

Analogue community radio

Licences issued in this period

Service nameLicenseeLocation
Revival FM Revival FM (Glasgow) Limited Glasgow

Licence extensions granted in this period

A five-year extension has been granted to the following:

Service nameLicenseeLocation New expiry date
Bute Island Radio Bute Community Media Limited

Rothesay, Isle of Bute

14 July 2024
Coast FM Penwith Community Radio Station Community Interest Company Penwith, Cornwall 29 August 2024

Services which have ceased to be licensed (handed back or revoked) in this period

Service nameLicenseeLocationReason
Radio BGWS British Gurkha Welfare Society Limited Farnborough, Hampshire Licence surrender

Coverage improvement and extension requests

During 2018, Ofcom invited community radio stations to submit requests for coverage improvements and extensions if they wished. During the last month the services listed below have had their requests provisionally agreed, subject to the new technical arrangements going through our usual formal clearance process (this includes Ofcom liaising with a number of outside agencies before changes can be implemented).

Service nameLocation
Black Cat Radio St Neots, Cambridgeshire

Market Harborough, Leicestershire

Susy Radio Redhill and Reigate, Surrey
Wycombe Sound High Wycombe, Bucks
Wythenshawe FM Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester

Please note:

Ofcom received over 130 requests in total for an improvement or an extension from existing community radio stations. It will take us some time to complete all the work required to assess each one; we have dealt first with requests for improvements before we turned our attention to extension requests.

The success of an application is, amongst other things, dependent on frequency availability and whether there may be an increase in harmful outgoing interference to other stations. In every case we need to take account of other services (community, commercial and BBC) on the same frequency or an adjacent one to yours (or to a frequency that we may be considering for a relay). Please see the guidance document (PDF, 325.1 KB) for further information.

If a technical change is possible, in each case we will consider whether the request is in line with the requirements we set out in the guidance, including the statutory criteria, as part of our process. We will get back to each applicant in due course, by email.

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, is available on our website.

Changes to Key Commitments agreed in this period:

MKFM (PDF, 161.7 KB)
Published 17|04|19

Community radio licence applications

Ofcom invited community radio licence applications to provide services in the areas listed in the invitation of applications for community radio licences (PDF, 196.3 KB). The closing date for receipt of applications was Tuesday 26 March 2019. The list of applicants is available on Ofcom’s website, in the section: 'Applications for community radio licences'.