Radio broadcast update December 2020

12 January 2021

Analogue Commercial Radio

Re-awards

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 licenseeCurrent expiry date
Omagh and Enniskillen (Q Radio) Northern Media Group Ltd18 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)
Published 07|01|21

GEM (East Midlands) (PDF, 282.9 KB)
Published 07|01|21

Greatest Hits Radio (Bradford & Huddersfield) (PDF, 277.5 KB)
Published 07|01|21

Greatest Hits Radio (Stoke-on-Trent)) (PDF, 277.1 KB)
Published 07|01|21

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)
Published 04|01|21

Digital Radio

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

LicenseeMultiplex
Fresh LeedsLeeds (tbc)

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

LicenseeService
V2 Radio LtdV2 Radio

DAB multiplex variations

The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:

ChangeMultiplex

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.

Oxfordshire

Addition of Star Radio – An adult hits service for Cambridgeshire targeting 30+ adults.

Peterborough
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.

Essex

Addition of Boom Radio – Music and conversation aimed at those aged 60-75.

London 3
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.

For further information, please contact Ofcom's Community Radio team at communityradiofund@ofcom.org.uk or visit the Community Radio Fund page of Ofcom’s website.

Licences issued in this period

Service NameLicenseeLocation
Sound Radio

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 nameLicenseeLocationNew expiry date
Radio PlusCoventry and Warwickshire Media Community Limited (CWMC)Coventry19/12/2025
All FMALL Arts & Media LtdManchester31/12/2025
Awaz FMAwaz FM LimitedGlasgow31/12/2025
BCB 106.6 FMBradford Community Broadcasting LtdBradford31/12/2025
Cross Rhythms City RadioCross RhythmsStoke31/12/2025
Desi RadioThe Panjabi Centre LtdSouthall31/12/2025
GTFMGTFM (South Wales) LtdPontypridd31/12/2025
New Style RadioAfro Caribbean Millennium CentreBirmingham31/12/2025
Radio FazaRadio Fiza LimitedNottingham31/12/2025
Resonance RadioLondon Musician’s Collective LimitedCentral London31/12/2025
Takeover RadioTakeover Radio Children’s Media TrustLeicester31/12/2025
Wythenshawe FMWythenshawe Community MediaManchester31/12/2025
Seahaven FMSeahaven FM BroadcastingNewhaven08/01/2026
Dales RadioDales Radio LimitedThe Yorkshire Dales National Park, including Leyburn, Hawes, Kirkby Stephen, Sedbergh, Ingleton, Settle and Grassington10/01/2026

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)
Published 12|01|21