Radio broadcast update August 2019

03 September 2019

Analogue commercial radio

Licence 'pre-advertisements'

Ofcom has today invited declarations of intent to apply for the following FM local commercial radio licences. Please click on the 'area' in the first column for further detail on the pre-advertisements:

Area/current licensee (station) Current expiryProposed expiry date following re-awardClosing date for declarations of intent
Perth (Wave FM)
(PDF, 164.9 KB)
4 November 20204 November 20323pm on Friday 20 September 2019
Warminster (The Breeze)
(PDF, 165.4 KB)
4 November 20204 November 20323pm on Friday 20 September 2019

Re-awards

Ofcom has announced that it has re-awarded the following local FM commercial radio licences to the current licensees. The licences have 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
Salisbury (Spire FM) Spire FM Limited 4 September 2019

Licence renewals granted in this period

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

Area (station)Current licensee
East Midlands (GEM)Orion Media (East Midlands) Limited

Local radio licence transfers

Ofcom has approved the transfer of the following local commercial licences:

AreaStation namePrevious licenseeNew licensee
North LondonLove SportPanjab Radio London LimitedA Spokesman Said Ltd
Greater LondonPanjab RadioA Spokesman Said LtdPanjab Radio London Limited

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.

Alpha Radio (Darlington) (PDF, 195.8 KB)
Published 29|08|19

Durham FM (Durham) (PDF, 195.6 KB)
Published 29|08|19

Sam FM (Solent) (PDF, 211.7 KB)
Published 29|08|19

Local radio coverage improvement

During the last month the service listed below had its request for an improvement to its existing coverage 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 Licensed area Change agreed
Nation Radio Scotland West Central Scotland Relay for Inverclyde

Digital radio

Digital sound programme service (DSPS) licences issued this period

Licensee
Shout Media and Events Limited
Cosoro Limited

DAB multiplex variations

The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:

ChangeMultiplex
Addition of Heart 70s – A music-led service playing music predominantly from the 1970s.

Heart 90s – A music-led service playing music predominantly from the 1990s.

Capital XTRA Reloaded – A music-led service playing predominantly urban, dance, Hip Hop and RnB.
Digital One (national)
Addition of Smooth Chill – A range of chill-out music London 1
Addition of Smooth Country – A music-led service playing predominantly country music Birmingham
Manchester
London 2
Berkshire and North Hampshire
Bournemouth
Cambridge
Cornwall
Essex
Exeter, Torbay and N. Devon
Kent
Leicestershire
Norfolk
Nottinghamshire
Oxfordshire
Peterborough
Plymouth
Swindon
Sussex Coast 
Addition of Atlantis – A 1960s centric music service Lincolnshire
Suffolk 
Removal of Gold – A music-led service playing predominantly classic hits Birmingham
Manchester
Berkshire and North Hampshire
Bournemouth
Cambridge
Cornwall
Essex
Exeter, Torbay and N. Devon
Kent
Norfolk
Oxfordshire
Peterborough
Plymouth
Swindon
Sussex Coast 
Removal of GN Radio UK – To reach out to all segments of the community to encourage access to the airwaves, enabling Ghanaians in the Diaspora to share their ideas and cultures with the community at large. London 3
Removal of The Arrow – A music-led adult rock service targeted at listeners aged 40-59. London 2
Removal of Chill – A music-led service playing a selection of Jazz, Soul, Blues and RnB from both heritage and contemporary artists Leicestershire
Nottinghamshire
London 3 
Removal of BFBS Brize Norton – A music-led station playing a mix of mainly CHR and Adult Contemporary music and targeting personnel of the Armed Forces in the Oxfordshire area, their families and the broad Forces community. Oxfordshire

Analogue community radio

Licence extensions granted in this period

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

Service nameLicenseeLocation New expiry date
Moorlands Radio Moorlands Radio Ltd Staffordshire 6 November 2024

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

Service nameLicenseeLocationReason
Chorley FMChorley FMChorleyLicence surrender
BFBS StaffordBFBS Stafford LtdStaffordLicence offer surrendered
BFBS CottesmoreBFBS Cottesmore and North Luffenham LtdCottesmoreLicence offer surrendered

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). We have considered the following requests to constitute coverage improvements.

Coverage improvements agreed:

Service nameLocation
Beverley FM Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire
Future RadioNorwich

Please note:

Ofcom received over 130 requests in total for an improvement or an extension from existing community radio stations. It is taking 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.