Radio broadcast update December 2020
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|
|Omagh and Enniskillen (Q Radio)||Northern Media Group Ltd||18 March 2021|
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
CFM (Carlisle) (PDF, 284.5 KB)
GEM (East Midlands) (PDF, 282.9 KB)
Greatest Hits Radio (Bradford & Huddersfield) (PDF, 277.5 KB)
Greatest Hits Radio (Stoke-on-Trent)) (PDF, 277.1 KB)
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.
Revolution 96.2 (Oldham) (PDF, 165.1 KB)
Publication of Round One small-scale DAB multiplex applications
Ofcom has now published the applications received for the 25 small scale radio multiplex licence areas we advertised in September 2020. This type of licence is awarded in a competitive process, in which applications are judged against specific statutory criteria. We are inviting comments on the applications. Please send your representations to smallscaleDAB@ofcom.org.uk. The closing date for comments is 31 January 2021.
Community digital sound programme (C-DSP) licence applications received
Community digital sound programme licence applications received between 27 November 2020 and 6 January 2021 can be found on our website. Applications have been made for services in Basingstoke, Derry/Londonderry, Glasgow, and Leeds.
C-DSP licences issued during in this period
|Fresh Leeds||Leeds (tbc)|
Digital sound programme service (DSPS) licences issued during in this period
|V2 Radio Ltd||V2 Radio|
DAB multiplex variations
The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:
Addition of Union Jack Rock – A music intensive station playing only Brit Rock and pop and indie rock for the over 40s.
Addition of Union Jack Dance – A music intensive station playing only British contemporary and classic pop dance for the over 45s.
Removal of Jack Radio – A music-intensive station playing an eclectic mix of Middle of the Road (MOR) contemporary and classic hits by female artists for the over 45s.
Removal of Love Sport Radio – A speech service focussing primarily on sports with some topical content and music.
|Sound Digital (national)|
Addition of Nation Radio UK – A music station playing current and classic hits.
North East Wales & West Cheshire
|Addition of Kerrang! – A service devoted to playing rock music with attitude. The station will appeal to 15 – 34 year olds and include news and information relevant to the target audience.||Bradford & Huddersfield|
Addition of Get Radio – A mainstream music service, championing local business, supporting the local creative industry (bands, DJs, Artists) and delivering local information tailored for audiences in the Oxfordshire area.
Addition of Star Radio – An adult hits service for Cambridgeshire targeting 30+ adults.
|Addition of V2 Radio – featuring a broad spectrum of popular music, as well as entertaining and informative programming relevant to Sussex.||Sussex|
Addition of Unity DAB – A pioneering dance music radio station that specialises in underground music, for the people by the people. United through music.
Addition of Boom Radio – Music and conversation aimed at those aged 60-75.
|Removal of Serenade Radio – Light, easy-listening music and friendly conversation targeted at the over 65s.||Bournemouth|
Analogue Community Radio
Community Radio Fund – Round 3, 2020-21
The third round of the Community Radio Fund 2020-21 opened for applications from eligible stations on 18 December 2020 and will close at 5pm on Thursday 14 January 2021. The awarding Panel will meet in February 2021 to consider the applications.
Grants can only be made to community radio licensees in the UK, who are broadcasting under a community radio licence. Applications from eligible licence-holders may be submitted in Welsh. Any application submitted in Welsh will be treated no less favourably than an application submitted in English.
Stations may not apply for funding for a project that has already been funded by the £750 million Covid-19 Charities Package. This includes funding from the following funds and distributors, although this is not an exhaustive list:
- the Covid-19 Community Support Fund, distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund;
- the Community Match Challenge, distributed by several organizations including (among others) Comic Relief, Pears Foundation, Smallwood Trust, Lloyds Bank Foundation and Steve Morgan Foundation;
- The Big Night In (£37m), distributed through Children in Need, Comic Relief and National Emergencies Trust; and
- funding distributed through government departments.
If a station has received funding from one of the above, they may only apply for a grant from the Fund for costs that have not already been funded by another grant.
The Community Radio Fund is not part of the Covid-19 Charities Package and applicants may apply for a further grant if they have already received a grant this year, in line with the guidance notes for this round.
Licences issued in this period
Sound Radio Limited
|Kinmel Bay & Towyn, Abergele, Rhyl and surrounding towns and villages in the Vale of Clwyd|
Licence extensions granted in this period
A five year extension has been granted to the following:
|Service name||Licensee||Location||New expiry date|
|Radio Plus||Coventry and Warwickshire Media Community Limited (CWMC)||Coventry||19/12/2025|
|All FM||ALL Arts & Media Ltd||Manchester||31/12/2025|
|Awaz FM||Awaz FM Limited||Glasgow||31/12/2025|
|BCB 106.6 FM||Bradford Community Broadcasting Ltd||Bradford||31/12/2025|
|Cross Rhythms City Radio||Cross Rhythms||Stoke||31/12/2025|
|Desi Radio||The Panjabi Centre Ltd||Southall||31/12/2025|
|GTFM||GTFM (South Wales) Ltd||Pontypridd||31/12/2025|
|New Style Radio||Afro Caribbean Millennium Centre||Birmingham||31/12/2025|
|Radio Faza||Radio Fiza Limited||Nottingham||31/12/2025|
|Resonance Radio||London Musician’s Collective Limited||Central London||31/12/2025|
|Takeover Radio||Takeover Radio Children’s Media Trust||Leicester||31/12/2025|
|Wythenshawe FM||Wythenshawe Community Media||Manchester||31/12/2025|
|Seahaven FM||Seahaven FM Broadcasting||Newhaven||08/01/2026|
|Dales Radio||Dales Radio Limited||The Yorkshire Dales National Park, including Leyburn, Hawes, Kirkby Stephen, Sedbergh, Ingleton, Settle and Grassington||10/01/2026|
Key Commitment 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:
N-Live Radio (Northampton) (PDF, 170.9 KB)