Radio broadcast update October 2019

05 November 2019

Analogue commercial radio

Licence 'pre-advertisements'

Ofcom has today invited declarations of intent to apply for the following FM local commercial radio licence. Please click on the 'area' in the first column for further detail on the pre-advertisements:

Area/current Licensee (station) Current expiry Proposed expiry date following re-award Closing date for declarations of intent
Mid-Ulster (Q Radio) (PDF, 205.4 KB) 31 January 2021 31 January 2033

26 November 2019


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
Heart (Hertford)Shadow Radio Holdings Limited2 March 2020

Licence renewals granted in this period

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

Area (station) Current licensee
Greater London (Capital) Global Radio Limited
Greater London (Gold) Global Radio Limited
Swindon & West Wiltshire (Heart) Wiltshire Radio Limited
Swindon & West Wiltshire (Smooth Radio) Global Radio (AM) Limited)

Proposed variation to a national analogue licence

Ofcom has published a consultation on a proposed variation to talkSPORT's national analogue radio licence. The closing date for responses is 13 November 2019.

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.

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.

Anglian Radio local FM stations (PDF, 242.0 KB)
Published 31|10|19

The Breeze (various FM licences) (PDF, 269.7 KB)
Published 31|10|19

Digital radio

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

A Spokesman Said Limited
Quest Media Network Limited
Radio Maria Limited

DAB multiplex variations

The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:


Addition of Pulse Xmas - A music service operating 24-hrs a day playing a broad selection of seasonal and Christmas songs.

Bradford & Huddersfield

Addition of LBC News - A speech station featuring predominantly rolling news

Digital One

Addition of Signal Xmas - A music service operating 24-hrs a day playing a broad selection of seasonal and Christmas songs.


Addition of Wave Xmas - A music service operating 24-hrs a day playing a broad selection of seasonal and Christmas songs.


Addition of Radio Maria England - A radio station whose primary purpose is to preach and teach the Catholic faith.

London 2, Cambridge

Addition of Dubai Now - An Arabic language music radio station which specialises in a modern and youthful style, targeting the UK audience of Arabic expats and visitors

London 3

DAB local radio multiplex licence award: Channel Islands

The local radio multiplex licence for the Channel Islands was awarded by Ofcom to Bailiwick Broadcasting Limited. We have published a statement (PDF, 129.2 KB) regarding the award.

Analogue community radio

Licences issued in this period

Service nameLicenseeLocation
BFBS Shorncliffe BFBS Shorncliffe Limited Shorncliffe, Folkestone
Nomad Radio Nomads Media Ltd Hammersmith and Fulham
Radio MAC Media Arts and Culture Ltd Bradford
Liverpool Community Radio KensingtonVision Community Interest Company Liverpool, Merseyside
Jorvik Radio Jorvik Radio Limited York

Licence extensions granted in this period

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

Service nameLicenseeLocation New expiry date

Speysound Radio

Speysound Radio Limited

Badenoch & Strathspey


Bishop FM

Prince Bishop Community Broadcasting Ltd

Bishop Auckland


Beverley FM

East Yorkshire Broadcasting Limited



Dunoon Community Radio

Dunoon Radio Ltd

Dunoon, Argyll


Flame CCR

Wirral Christian Media Limited



Radio Tamworth

Tamworth Radio Broadcasting CIC



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

Service nameLicenseeLocationReason
Heritage Radio AM British Muslim Heritage Centre South Manchester AM licence surrender (new FM Licence started)

Key Commitments 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 available on our website.

Changes to Key Commitments agreed in this period:

Radio Scilly (PDF, 189.9 KB)
Published 16|10|19

Coverage improvement and extension requests

During 2018, Ofcom invited community radio stations to submit requests for coverage improvements and extensions if they wished. During the last month the services listed below have had their requests provisionally agreed, subject to the new technical arrangements going through our usual formal clearance process (this includes Ofcom liaising with a number of outside agencies before changes can be implemented). We have considered the following requests to constitute coverage improvements.

Coverage improvements agreed:

Service nameLocation

Blast 106


Stafford FM


Unity 101


Unity FM

Sparkbrook (Birmingham)

Please note:

Ofcom received around 130 requests for an improvement or an extension from existing community radio stations and the work is nearing completion.

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.