Radio broadcast update – July 2023

Published: 2 August 2023
Last updated: 6 September 2023

A round-up of Ofcom’s broadcast radio licensing activity in July 2023.

This update includes information on the application window for those wishing to apply for a licence to broadcast a service during the recognised period of high demand next year, which includes Ramadan. See the 'Restricted service licences' section.

Digital radio

Local/national DAB multiplex variations

The following multiplex variations were agreed during this period:


Removal of Angel Vintage: The service is a rebroadcast of Angel Radio from the South Hampshire Multiplex.


Removal of Hope FM: A Christian radio station involved in promoting the Gospel.

Hereford and Worcester

North East Wales and West Cheshire

North Yorkshire


Radio multiplex licence renewals

The following radio multiplex licences have been granted a renewal during this period:

MultiplexLicensee New expiry date
D1 National
Digital One Limited
31 December 2035
Now Digital (Southern) Limited
31 December 2030
Now Digital (Southern) Limited
31 December 2030

Small-scale DAB multiplex licence applications

Our fifth round of small-scale DAB multiplex licensing covers the South East of England ‘macro area'. We received 34 applications for the 32 licence areas, which were advertised in March. No applications were received for six of the areas – Central Suffolk; Great Yarmouth & Lowestoft; Haverhill; Ipswich & Felixstowe; North Sussex & Reigate; and South Buckinghamshire.

We also received applications for three multiplex licence areas that were re-advertised in March, covering Alnwick & Morpeth, Isles of Scilly, and Merthyr & Rhondda Cynon Taff.

We are now inviting comments on the applications we have received for Round Five. Please send your comments to by 5pm by Friday 1 September.

All applications will be assessed against the specific statutory criteria. We expect to announce the successful applicants (for the South East of England macro area) next year.

Small-scale DAB multiplex licence awards

The following small-scale radio multiplex licence awards were made during this period:

Licence area Successful applicant company
Berwickshire & Roxburgh
East Fife

Grant of small-scale DAB multiplex licences

The following small-scale radio multiplex licences were granted during this period:

Licence areaLicensee Transmitters licensed Date from
Darlington & Bishop Auckland
Durham Digital Limited
Darlington Memorial Hospital;

Bishop Auckland – Grange Hill Farm

29 June 2023
Stoke & Newcastle-under-Lyme
Alternative Broadcast Company
Stoke-on-Trent – Hanchurch Wood; Newcastle-under-Lyme – Wetley Common.
3 July 2023

Digital sound programme service (DSP) and digital additional sound (DAS) licences issued during this period

Licensee Service name
GTFM (South Wales) Ltd
Sound Radio – Liverpool’s More Music Station Ltd
Sound Radio
All Star Ents Ltd
All Star Youth Radio

Community digital sound programme service (C-DSP) applications received during this period

Licensee Service nameArea
Torbay Hospital Radio
Torbay Hospital Radio
Forth Valley Radio
Forth Valley Radio
Stirling & Falkirk
Churnet Sound Radio CIC
Churnet Sound
Stoke & Newcastle-under-Lyme
Potteries Media CIC
6 Towns Radio
Stoke & Newcastle-under-Lyme
Kol Radio Ltd
Kol Radio
North London

Community digital sound programme service (C-DSP) licences issued during this period

Licensee Service nameArea
All Arts & Media Ltd
All FM
Bedrock Radio
Bedrock Radio
NE London & SW Essex
Gaydio CIC
Forth Valley Broadcasting Service
Radio Royal
Stirling & Falkirk
Prince Bishops Hospital Radio
Prince Bishops Hospital Radio
Darlington & Bishop Auckland
African Voice Platform CIC
African Voices
Sheffield & Rotherham
Platform B
Slack City MCR

Analogue commercial radio

Coverage extensions received:

During the last month the services listed below have requested an extension to their licence area. The application(s) are published on our website. Ofcom will accept representations up to one month following publication before we make a formal decision. Representations can be sent to

Service nameLocation
Heartland FM
Pitlochry and Aberfeldy

Analogue community radio

Community Radio Fund – Round 1, 2023-24

Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund Panel (‘the Panel’) met on Tuesday 11th July 2023 to consider applications in the first round of funding for the 2023-2024 financial year.

The Panel considered each application and awarded funding based on the information provided, and with reference to the Community Radio Fund (‘the Fund’) guidance notes. For each grant bid the Panel decided whether to make a full award, a partial award or not to award any funding.

At the meeting:

  • 53 applications for grants were considered; and
  • 40 applicants were not awarded a grant.

The total amount of funding requested in these applications was £1,064,691. 13 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £213,433. The grants awarded ranged from £5,300 up to £25,802 for individual positions, with an average of £16,418. A summary of the awards is available on our website.

Licence extensions granted in this period

A five year extension has been granted to the following:

Service nameLicenseeLocation New expiry date
Halton Community Radio
Halton Community Radio
7 August 2028
Ninesprings FM
Radio Ninesprings
13 September 2028

Licence transfers in this period

Ofcom has approved the transfer of the following community radio licence:

Service nameLocation Previous licensee New licensee
Legacy 90.1
Peace Full Media Limited
Legacy901 CIC

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 on our website.

Changes to Key Commitments agreed in this period:

Kiss (East of England) (PDF, 268.2 KB)
Published 11 July 2023

Ashdown Radio (PDF, 234.9 KB)
Published 26 July 2023

Academy FM Folkestone (PDF, 235.4 KB)
Published 26 July 2023

Coverage improvement and extension requests

Coverage extensions agreed

See the guidance notes for the range of factors we take into account when considering these requests (in particular, paragraphs 2.46-2.49).


Cinque Ports Radio

Current licence area

Dymchurch and surrounding areas of Romney Marsh

Extended licence area

Dymchurch, Rye and surrounding areas

Reasons for agreeing to the extension

Increase in licensed area:

An extension via a relay at Rye 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 applicant noted that whilst the proposed extension appears large in terms of geographical coverage, other than the main town of Rye, the remaining area is primarily rural and wouldn’t significantly increase the amount of potential adult listeners for the service.
  • The licensee currently engages with the proposed extended area through content delivered online. The extension will therefore enable the service to continue to provide a range of programmes with content provided by local children, community groups, the local BNI and Chamber of Commerce. It will also enable content to be broadcast from the Rye Studio in the proposed extended area.
  • This additional studio will increase the provision of social gain throughout the extended licensed area with more opportunities for volunteers in the extended area. Additionally, this will increase access to more local news and events, allow interviews to be shared between media outlets, and allow for cross promotion.
  • The licensee provided evidence of demand and support from groups in the proposed extended area with whom it has developed partnership. These include the local online newspaper, Community Hub, and secondary school. Letters of support were also provided from event organisers, local council and local business, which further demonstrate how this extension will increase the delivery of social gain on-air through greater awareness of local initiatives.
  • The applicant highlighted that the proposed extended area does not have a local or Community Radio Station and is not often covered by existing media outlets in Kent and Sussex as it sits on the border of both counties. The extension will therefore ensure targeted local content for listeners in Rye.
  • The licensee asserted that many people from the Romney Mash work in the Rye area and vice versa. Both areas are also popular with tourists. This is an indication of the relationship and affinity between the existing and proposed extended areas. The coverage extension will therefore help promote both areas and increase public awareness of local attractions.
  • Ofcom published this application for a period of one month, which provides anyone with an opportunity to comment on the application. Ofcom received no comments from any party. Ofcom’s analysis has also indicated that there will be no overlap within the core areas of the neighbouring community radio services (at the protected threshold).
  • As part of this application, the Licensee also sought a power increase at its existing site to improve reception in certain areas within the original licensed area. This proposal was also approved alongside the extension application.

Restricted service licences

Period of high demand – 2024

On Tuesday 29 August 2023, we will open a one-week application window for anyone wishing to apply to hold a restricted service licence (RSL) to broadcast during 2024’s recognised period of high demand (any dates between 6 March and 14 April 2024 inclusive), which includes the period of Ramadan.

For more information, please visit the RSL pages on our website.

Licences which have ceased to be licensed in this period

Licensee Service nameReason
Eric Davidson
Seaforde Church
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