Radio broadcast update May 2021
Analogue commercial radio
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
|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|
Small-scale DAB: latest Round One licence awards
The following small-scale radio multiplex licence awards were announced by Ofcom on 1 June:
- Basingstoke (PDF, 112.4 KB)
- Clevedon, Avonmouth and Filton (PDF, 115.7 KB)
- Dudley & Stourbridge (PDF, 115.1 KB)
- East Bristol, Mangotsfield and Keynsham (PDF, 117.1 KB)
- Newcastle & Gateshead (PDF, 117.1 KB)
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
|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:
|Addition of More Radio Retro – Music from the 70s, 80s and 90s and the latest news, travel and information for 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.|
|Addition of Classic One – A music service featuring various genre, including classical and jazz.|
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.
Analogue community radio
Licences issued in this period
|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 name||Licensee||Location||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|