Radio broadcast update December 2018

08 January 2019

Short-term restricted service licensing

Ofcom has published a list of areas for which short-term restricted service licence (SRSL) applications have been received, to broadcast between 3 May and 7 June 2019.

We are in the process of considering whether or not each application meets the application criteria and will then consider granting licences in accordance with our statement and notes of guidance.

Those interested in opportunities to broadcast during this period should ensure they re-visit the SRSL area of the Ofcom site. Information may be updated in due course.

Analogue commercial radio

Licence 'pre-advertisements'

Ofcom has today 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
Hertford (Bob FM) 02 March 2020 02 March 2032 3pm on Friday 25 January 2018

Licence renewals granted in this period

A 12 year renewal has been granted to the following:

Area (station) Current licensee
North East England (Smooth Radio) Smooth Radio NE Limited

A five year renewal has been granted to the following:

Area (station) Current licensee

Birmingham (Capital FM)

Galaxy Radio Birmingham Limited

Belfast (Q Radio)

Belfast City Beat Limited

Brixton (Capital Xtra)

Capital Xtra Limited

Coventry (Free Radio)

Orion Media Limited

Coventry (Greatest Hits Radio)

Orion Media Limited

Dundee/Perth (Tay 2)

Radio Tay Limited

Dundee/Perth (Tay FM)

Radio Tay Limited

Greater London (Kiss)

Kiss FM Radio Limited

Greater London (Love Sport)

A Spokesman Said Limited

Greater London (Magic 105.4)

Magic 105.4 Limited

Greater London (Smooth Radio)

Smooth 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.

Radio City 2
Radio City 2 (PDF, 245.8 KB)
Published 04|01|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.

Sun FM
Sun FM (PDF, 176.1 KB)
Published 04|01|19

Digital radio

Digital sound programme service (DSPS) licences issued during this period

Celtic Music Radio Ltd
Pride Community Network Ltd
Paisley FM Limited

DAB multiplex variations

The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:


Addition of Talk Radio - An engaging speech service presented by knowledgeable talk radio personalities, featuring current affairs and entertainment programming and regular UK and international news.


Addition of Talk Sport 2 - A speech service providing coverage of a broad range of live sporting action from the UK and around the world along with complementary sports talk programming.


Addition of Virgin Radio - A music service featuring classic and contemporary pop and rock hits, with established presenters at peak times.


Addition of Virgin Anthems - A music service playing guitar and pop-rock anthems.

National (Sound Digital multiplex)

Addition of Virgin Chilled - A music service playing laid back pop, rock and acoustic music.

National (Sound Digital multiplex)

Removal of Fresh Coventry and Warwickshire - A local service for Coventry and Warwickshire playing an uplifting and energetic mix of music from the past 10 years. Speech content will focus on news, traffic, sport and upcoming events of local interest.


Radio Licensable Content Services (RLCS) licences issued during this period

Licensee Service name
Talksport Ltd Virgin Radio

Analogue community radio

Community Radio Licensing

Ofcom is inviting applications for new FM community radio licences (PDF, 196.3 KB) in 43 areas across the UK. The areas were announced in September 2018 (PDF, 197.4 KB), and were based on earlier responses from individuals or groups who had expressed an interest in applying for a community radio licence. The closing date for receiving applications is 3pm on Tuesday 26 March 2019.

Licences issued in this period

Service nameLicenseeLocation
Rossendale Radio Rossendale Radio Ltd Rawtenstall, Rossendale Valley, Lancashire

Licence extensions granted in this period

A five year extension has been granted to the following:

Service nameLicenseeLocation New expiry date
The Voice The Voice (North Devon) CIC Barnstaple, North Devon 17 January 2024

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:

Radio Panj
Radio Panj (PDF, 546.7 KB)
Published 04|01|19