Radio broadcast update November 2020

01 December 2020

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
Aylesbury (Greatest Hits Radio) Mix 96 Limited14 April 2021

Licence renewals granted in this period

A seven year renewal has been granted to the following:

Area (station)Current Licensee
North West England (Heart)Real Radio (North West) Limited

A five year renewal has been granted to the following:

Area (station)Current Licensee
Stoke-on-Trent, surrounding parts of Staffordshire and Cheshire (Signal 1)Bauer Media Audio Limited LP
Merseyside (Radio City)Bauer Radio Limited
Swansea and surrounding area (The Wave)Bauer Media Audio Limited LP
Swansea and surrounding area (Greatest Hits Radio)Bauer Media Audio Limited LP
Greater Manchester (Greatest Hits Radio)Key 103 Limited
Greater Manchester (Hits Radio)Bauer Radio Limited
South Yorkshire (Hallam FM)Bauer Radio Limited
South Yorkshire (Greatest Hits Radio)Bauer Radio Limited

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

Service nameLicenseeLocationReason
Smooth RadioGlobal Radio (AM) LtdLuton/BradfordSurrendered

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

Greatest Hits Radio (Hull) (PDF, 252.1 KB)
Published 27|11|20

Hits Radio (Portsmouth) (PDF, 262.3 KB)
Published 27|11|20

Hits Radio (Southampton) (PDF, 255.5 KB)
Published 27|11|20

Hits Radio (Winchester) (PDF, 270.6 KB)
Published 27|11|20

Nation Radio (Ceredigion) (PDF, 315.6 KB)
Published 27|11|20

Your Radio (Dumbarton) (PDF, 270.5 KB)
Published 27|11|20

Greatest Hits Radio (Northallerton) (PDF, 245.2 KB)
Published 10|11|20

Greatest Hits Radio (Shaftesbury) (PDF, 246.0 KB)
Published 10|11|20

Ipswich 102 (now Greatest Hits Radio) (PDF, 313.0 KB)
Published 03|11|20

Digital Radio

Community digital sound programme (C-DSP) licence applications received

Community digital sound programme licence applications received between 3 and 26 November 2020 can be found on our website. Applications have been made for services in Bradford, Cardiff, Leeds, Salisbury, Sheffield & Rotherham, and South Birmingham.

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

Licensee
Array Sound Ltd
Light Blue Media Cambridge Limited
Biscuit Broadcasting Ltd
In Demand Radio Limited
Nation Radio Investments Limited

DAB multiplex variations

The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:

ChangeMultiplex
Addition of Grand Arcade Christmas – A Christmas music service.Cambridge

Addition of In Demand – A music-based radio station, focused on dance, RnB, and pop music.

North East Wales & West Cheshire
Addition of Great Yorkshire Radio – A mix of music and information for North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and beyond.Lincolnshire

Removal of Great Yorkshire Radio – A mix of music and information for North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and beyond.

Addition of YorkMix (Temporary name Xmas Mix) – A locally focused service playing a broad range of music with news and information for York and the surrounding area.

North Yorkshire

Addition of Outreach Radio – Local information, news and entertainment to communities across South Hampshire.

South Hampshire
Addition of Sami Swoi Polska – A radio station for the UK’s Polish community, with a focus on 21-55-year olds, playing popular Polish hits and world mainstream music.Surrey

Removal of Asian Sound – A locally-oriented music and information service for Asian listeners with a mix of music.

Bradford & Huddersfield

Addition of Absolute Radio 70s – A 1970s-centric music service.

Addition of Absolute Radio 60s – A 1960s-centric rock and roots music service.

Stoke on Trent

Analogue Community Radio

Licence extensions granted in this period

A five year extension has been granted to the following:

Service nameLicenseeLocationNew expiry date
Skyline GoldBootlace Radio Productions LimitedHedge End16 December 2025
Unity 101Cultural Media EnterpriseSouthampton7 December 2025

Coverage improvement and extension requests

Coverage improvements agreed:

Service nameLocation
Mighty RadioSouthport

Coverage extensions agreed:

StationBro Radio
Current licence areaBarry, Llantwit Major and surrounding areas
Extended licence areaBarry, Llantwit Major, Penarth and surrounding area
Reasons for agreeing to the extension

Increase in licensed area: An extension via a relay at Penarth was AGREED. The increase in the size of the adult population served was not deemed 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 population increase is offset by the interference loss from Barry and is therefore minimal compared to what was originally licenced.
  • There is affinity between the existing and extended coverage area as it is part of the wider County of the Vale of Glamorgan. The communities are also linked inked by two major roads and rail.
  • The applicant highlighted that the station has strong links with local businesses, politicians, organisations and the Town Council. It also currently provides content relevant to and supports several events in the extended licence area despite poor coverage.
StationDrystone Radio
Current licence areaSutton in Craven
Extended licence areaSutton in Craven and Ilkley
Reasons for agreeing to the extension

Increase in licensed area: An extension via a relay at Ilkley was AGREED. The increase in the size of the adult population served was not deemed 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:

  • Ilkley Moor, which lies between Ilkley and Sutton-in-Craven, effectively blocks any signal from reaching Ilkley and Addingham, the areas for which the extension was requested. Coverage to these areas could not be achieved via a power increase.
  • The applicant highlighted that the area of Ilkley is underserved due to absence of local media. The extension will therefore enable the target population to be served by an FM service which provides targeted local news and information.
  • Further, the applicant has demonstrated its ambition to develop its relationships with local schools and colleges to offer work experience placements and training, while also engaging with all ages of the population within its new coverage area to develop interest in volunteering for the service.
  • Sutton in Craven and Ilkley are adjacent to each other and have a clear relationship and affinity. The licensee demonstrated in its application that it would continue its ambition to create further community cohesion between its current coverage area and the additional coverage it would attain as a result of this approved relay. This would be achieved by ensuring that its news and local information programming would be suitably tailored to cover both areas, featuring content that was relevant for the whole of its revised licensed area.
  • A large amount of support for this application was provided, with specific focus on locally-relevant information being provided to the communities within the proposed licensed area as a result of the loss of local commercial radio

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, 284.2 KB) for further information.