Radio broadcast update May 2021

16 June 2021

Analogue commercial radio

Licence ‘pre-advertisements’

On 7 June 2021, Ofcom invited declarations of intent to apply for the FM local commercial radio licence for Portsmouth. Due to a clerical error made when the licence was granted, Ofcom is withdrawing this invitation with immediate effect. Please see our notice to withdraw pre-advertisement (PDF, 112.1 KB) for further information.

Invitations to apply under fast-track

Ofcom has received one declaration for the following licence, from the current licensee. We are therefore inviting the incumbent licensee to re-apply for the licence under the ‘fast track’ procedure as set out in Ofcom’s guidelines:

Area (station)Current Licensee
Tunbridge Wells/Sevenoaks (KMFM) KM Media Group Limited

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

Service nameLicenseeLocationReason
Greatest Hits Radio Bauer Radio Limited Leeds (AM) Surrendered
Greatest Hits Radio Bauer Radio Limited Preston and Blackpool Surrendered
Greatest Hits Radio Bauer Radio Limited Manchester Surrendered
Magic Bauer Radio Limited Humberside Surrendered

Digital radio

Small-scale DAB: latest Round One licence awards

The following small-scale radio multiplex licence awards were announced by Ofcom on 1 June:

Small-scale DAB: advertisement of Round Two licences

Ofcom has advertised 22 small-scale radio multiplex licences (PDF, 5.6 MB) which together comprise the north west England and north east Wales ‘macro area’. The closing date for applications for these multiplex licences is 5pm on 1 September 2021.

Revised application forms and guidance notes for applicants and licensees (PDF, 1.2 MB) have been published to co-incide with this second round of licensing; applicants must ensure they apply using these revised application forms and have read the updated guidance notes.

Small-scale DAB: Round Three licence areas

We have also announced which areas of the UK will be advertised in the third round of Ofcom’s small-scale radio multiplex licensing programme. They are as follows:

Bedford; Belfast & Lisburn; Coventry; Darlington & Bishop Auckland; Dundee; East Hull; Leicester; Lincoln; Llandudno & Betws-y-Coed; Middlesbrough & Redcar; Milton Keynes; North Aberdeen; Nottingham; Oxford; Rutland & Stamford; Shaftesbury & Blandford Forum; South Aberdeen; Swansea; Swindon; Taunton; Warminster, Devizes & Trowbridge; West Hull; Wetherby & Harrogate; York; and Yorkshire Coast.

We expect to be able to advertise these licences towards the end of this year.

C-DSP licences issued during in this period

LicenseeMultiplex
Brumside Radio CIC South Birmingham
Birmingham CEDARS Limited t/a Unity FM South Birmingham
Birmingham CEDARS Limited t/a Unity FM North Birmingham
Hospital Radio Basingstoke Basingstoke
Akash Radio Leeds Ltd Leeds

DAB multiplex variations

The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:

ChangeMultiplex
Addition of More Radio Retro – Music from the 70s, 80s and 90s and the latest news, travel and information for Sussex.

Sussex

Addition of Virgin Pride (three-month temporary pop-up service) – A service that celebrates the LGBTQ+ communities across the UK, playing predominantly pop-dance and pop R&B music.

London 2

Addition of Classic One – A music service featuring various genre, including classical and jazz.

Surrey

Community Radio Fund

Round 1, 2021-22

The first round of the Community Radio Fund 2021-22 is open for applications and will close at 5pm on Friday 25 June 2021. The awarding Panel will meet in August 2021 to consider the applications. However, scheduling will depend on the volume of applications we receive.

In 2020-21, grants were provided as emergency cash funding to support stations facing severe financial difficulty due to the Coronavirus outbreak. For 2021-22, the Fund will return to supporting the core costs of running Ofcom-licensed community radio stations, as set out in the guidance notes. Applicants should read the guidance notes in full before submitting an application.

Grants can only be made to Ofcom-licensed community radio stations in the UK, broadcasting on AM, FM, or via a C-DSP licence on a digital radio multiplex. 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.

More information about the Community Radio Fund is available on our website. For further information, please contact the Community Radio Fund team at communityradiofund@ofcom.org.uk.

Analogue community radio

Licences issued in this period

Service nameLicenseeLocation
Revolution Radio Revolution Radio Limited Northampton
DH1 Digital Hits Network Limited North Somerset

Licence extensions granted in this period

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

Service nameLicenseeLocation New expiry date
Lisburn 98FM Lisburn Community Radio Limited Lisburn 29 September 2026
Wycombe Sound Wycombe Community Radio CIC High Wycombe 30 October 2026
Castledown Radio Casteldown FM Ltd Ludgershall 3 November 2026
Harborough FM (Hfm) HFM Radi Limited Market Harborough 9 February 2027
Kane FM Kane FM Limited Guildford 27 October 2026
Raidio Failte Raidio Failte Teo Belfast 14 September 2026