Radio broadcast update December 2019

08 January 2020

Short-term restricted service licensing – period of high demand

For some geographical areas, we received more than one application for a short-term restricted service licence to broadcast on any dates between 20 April and 26 May 2020 (period of high demand). Draws are scheduled to take place on Friday 10 January 2020 in order to establish which one will be considered in each case. The results of the draws will be published after they have taken place and the video recording will be made available on YouTube.

In other areas, we received one application for our consideration. Each of those will be considered.

More information on the areas in question

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 expiryProposed expiry date following re-awardClosing date for declarations of intent
Omagh & Enniskillen/ Northern Media Group Limited (Q Radio) (PDF, 178.5 KB)

18 March 2021

18 March 203328 January 2020

Licence renewals granted in this period

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

Area (station)Current Licensee
Peterhead (Waves Radio)Waves Radio Limited
Coventry (Capital)Touch Broadcasting Limited

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

Area (station)Current Licensee
Bradford & Huddersfield (Pulse 1)Bauer Media Audio Limited acting as a general partner for Bauer Media Audio LP
Bradford & Huddersfield (Pulse 2)Bauer Media Audio Limited acting as a general partner for Bauer Media Audio LP

Local radio licence transfers

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

AreaStation namePrevious LicenseeNew Licensee
South YorkshireGreatest Hits RadioRadio Hallam LimitedBauer Radio Limited
South YorkshireHallam FMRadio Hallam LimitedBauer Radio Limited
LiverpoolRadio CItyRadio City (Sound of Merseyside Limited)Bauer Radio Limited
LiverpoolGreatest Hits RadioRadio City (Sound of Merseyside Limited)Bauer Radio Limited
West CumbriaCFMCarlisle Radio LtdBauer Radio Limited
CarlisleCFMCarlisle Radio LtdBauer Radio Limited
LeedsGreatest Hits RadioRadio Aire LtdBauer Radio Limited
LeedsRadio AireRadio Aire LtdBauer Radio Limited
Greater London 1MagicMagic 105.4 LtdBauer Radio Limited
Greater London 1KissKiss FM Radio LtdBauer Radio Limited
LancashireGreatest Hits RadioRed Rose Radio LtdBauer Radio Limited
LancashireRock FMRed Rose Radio LtdBauer Radio Limited
Tyne & WearGreatest Hits RadioMetro Radio LtdBauer Radio Limited
Wolverhampton & ShropshireAbsolute Classic RockOrion Media LtdBauer Radio Limited
CoventryFree RadioOrion Media LtdBauer Radio Limited
CoventryGreatest Hits RadioOrion Media LtdBauer Radio Limited
Hereford & WorcsFree RadioRadio Wyvern LtdBauer Radio Limited
AberdeenNorthsound 1Northsound Radio LtdBauer Radio Limited
AyrWest SoundWest Sound Radio LtdBauer Radio Limited
AyrWest FMWest Sound Radio LtdBauer Radio Limited
TaysideTay 2Radio Tay LtdBauer Radio Limited
TaysideTay FMRadio Tay LtdBauer Radio Limited
InvernessMFR 2Moray Firth Radio LtdBauer Radio Limited
InvernessMoray Firth RadioMoray Firth Radio LtdBauer Radio Limited
EdinburghForth 2Radio Forth LtdBauer Radio Limited
EdinburghForth 1Radio Forth LtdBauer Radio Limited
Scottish BordersRadio BordersRadio Borders LtdBauer Radio Limited
Dumfries & GallowayWest SoundSouth West Sound LtdBauer Radio Limited
BournemouthWave 105Wave 105 FM LtdBauer Radio Limited
GlasgowClyde 1Radio Clyde LtdBauer Radio Limited
GlasgowClyde 2Radio Clyde LtdBauer Radio Limited
CambridgeStar RadioCambridge Radio LimitedLight Blue Media Cambridge Limited

Digital Radio

DAB multiplex variations

The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:


Addition of Love Sport - A speech service focussing primarily on Sports with some topical content and music.

Removal of Panjab Radio - A service aimed at the Panjabi community.

Sound Digital (national)

Addition of Sout Al Khaleej - An Arabic radio service featuring a mix of Arabic pop music, concerts, poetry and talk.

Addition of Panjab Radio - A service aimed at the Panjabi community.

London 3

Removal of Spectrum Radio - A full service radio station broadcasting talk, music and news to minority communities in London.

Removal of Sout Al Khaleej - An Arabic radio service featuring a mix of Arabic pop music, concerts, poetry and talk.

Removal of Talk Sport (London) - Simulcast of INR3 with local ad opt outs.

London 2
Addition of Virgin Radio Groove - A music service playing rhythmic & pop tracks from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s & 00’s.

Central Scotland
London 2

Addition of Magic Musicals - The best of musical theatre plus theatre showbiz news and features.

Tyne & Wear

Addition of Absolute Radio 90s - A 90s-centric music service.

Addition of Absolute 80s - A 1980s-centric music service

Removal of Talk Sport (Scotland) - Simulcast of INR3 with local ad opt outs

Central Scotland

Analogue Community Radio

Licences awarded in this period

Ofcom has announced, and published the reasons for, the award of four community radio licences:

Service nameCompanyArea
AlfredAlfred Radio LtdShaftesbury, Dorset
Listen LanarkshireGetting Better Together LimitedShotts, Lanarkshire
Merthyr RadioThe 3Gs Development TrustMerthyr Tydfil, South Wales
Sound RadioSound Radio LimitedTowyn, Kinmel Bay, Abergele and Rhyl, North Wales

The full statement can be viewed in English and Welsh.

Licences issued in this period

Service NameLicenseeLocation
Caithness FMCaithness F.M LimitedCaithness

Coverage improvements 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
Hot RadioPoole

Coverage extensions agreed

StationThe Source
Current licence areaFalmouth and Penryn
Extended licence areaFalmouth, Penryn and parts of the Lizard Peninsula
Reasons for agreeing to the extension

Increase in the licensed area: An extension via a power increase was AGREED because the increase in the area and population served was deemed not to be significant.

Exceptional circumstances: Ofcom did not need to consider whether there were 'exceptional circumstances' to justify an increase in this case.

Other considerations:

  • The Licensee applied to extend its service into Helston and the Lizard. However, an extension into Helston is not feasible from the current site due to the terrain between the transmitter site and Helston.
  • A modest power increase will mean some residents in the Lizard will be able to hear the service. However, an increase of the overlap with the neighbouring Truro community radio service will be limited.
  • The Licensee argued that there are some affinities between the Lizard and the currently served area – Falmouth and Penryn.

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.