Radio broadcast update October 2018

06 November 2018

Short-term restricted service licences

Yesterday, Ofcom opened an application window (which will remain open until 5pm on Friday 23 November 2018), for any potential applicant for an SRSL hoping to broadcast on any dates between Friday 3 May and Friday 7 June 2019 – an anticipated period of high demand.

We have also published a statement (PDF, 245.7 KB) on changes we have made to the licensing process for SRSLs, which are reflected in the guidance notes for applicants and licensees (PDF, 431.5 KB) and the application form (PDF, 1.0 MB) itself.

SRSL applications submitted using previous versions of the application from will be rejected.

Analogue commercial radio

Extension of Channel Islands licences

Ofcom’s consideration of the licence renewal applications made by Island FM Ltd for the Guernsey licence, and by Channel Radio Ltd for the Jersey licence, has been postponed for a year under s104A (8) of the  Broadcasting Act 1990. This is to enable Ofcom to advertise and award a local radio multiplex for the Channel Islands. Accordingly, under section 104A(9) of the 1996 Broadcasting Act, these licences have  been extended for a period of one year, to 14 October 2020 (Guernsey) and 24 October 2020 (Jersey).

Licence renewals granted in this period

A 12 year renewal has been granted to the following:

Area (station)

Current Licensee

Aberdeen (Original 106)

Original Aberdeen FM Limited

Oxford & South Oxfordshire (Jack FM)

Passion Radio (Oxford) Limited

A five year renewal has been granted to the following:

Area (station)

Current Licensee

Ayr (West FM)

West Sound Radio Limited

Ayr (West Sound)

West Sound Radio Limited

Bristol & Bath (Heart)

GWR (West) Limited

Greater London (LBC 97.3)

LBC Radio Limited

Greater London (LBC London News)

LBC Radio Limited

Greater Manchester (Capital)

Galaxy Radio Manchester Limited

Luton & Bedford (Heart)

Chiltern Radio Limited

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.

Sun FM (Sunderland) (PDF, 319.2 KB)
Published 02|11|18

Absolute Radio (West Midlands) (PDF, 277.0 KB)
Published 01/11/18

Free Radio 80s (Birmingham) (PDF, 277.0 KB)
Published 01/11/18

Absolute Radio (Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury & Telford) (PDF, 277.0 KB)
Published 01/11/18

Digital radio

New local digital multiplex licence

Ofcom plans to advertise a new local radio digital multiplex licence for the Channel Isles. We plan to advertise the licence in the first quarter of 2019 (see notes on analogue commercial radio, above).

DAB multiplex variations

The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:



Addition of Jack Radio (UK) - 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.

Sound Digital (national)

Removal of Fun Kids - A service aimed at children.


Addition of Pirate Xmas - A temporary station playing tracks with links to Christmas. (Station will broadcast between 01 November 2018 and 01 January 2019).


Analogue community radio

Licences issued in this period

Service Name



Burgess Hill Radio

Burgess Hill Community Radio CIC

Burgess Hill, West Sussex


Gaydio Brighton Limited

Brighton and Hove, East Sussex

West Somerset Radio

West Somerset Community Radio C.I.C.

Minehead, Somerset

Licence extensions granted in this period

A five year extension has been granted to the following:

Service name



New expiry date

Bro Radio

Vale of Glamorgan Broadcasting Community Interest Company

Barry, Vale of Glamorgan

30 March 2024


CHBN Community Radio CIC

Penryn, Cornwall

13 April 2024

Gravity FM

Gravity FM CIC

Grantham, Lincolnshire

30 November 2023

Somer Valley

Somer Valley Community Radio Limited

Midsomer Norton, Somerset

11 January 2024

Coverage improvement and extension requests

Following the invitations for exisiting community radio stations to submit a technical change request, either for an improvement or an extension, we received over 130 requests in total. It will take us some time to complete all the work required to assess each one; we are dealing first with requests for improvements before we turn to extension requests.

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, 325.1 KB) for further information.

If a technical change is possible, in each case we will consider whether the request is in line with the requirements we set out in the guidance, including the statutory criteria, as part of our process. We will get back to each applicant in due course, by email.