Award of grants 2023-24: Round 1

Published: 1 August 2023
Last updated: 23 February 2024

Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund Panel (‘the Panel’) met on Tuesday 11 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;
  • The total amount of funding requested in these applications was £1,064,691;
  • 13 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £213,433 and
  • 40 applicants were not awarded a grant.

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 at the end of this statement.

The Panel considers that, as much as possible, grants from the Fund should help further a station’s financial stability and future sustainability. Therefore, proposals to promote long-term financial security and posts which could become self-sustaining were favoured by the Panel over applications for other support roles.

Regarding the applications considered in this funding round, the Panel would like to make the following points:


The Panel does not provide individual feedback as a matter of course. Verbal feedback will be available, should stations wish to contact Ofcom. The Panel would strongly recommend that stations request feedback if they re-submit proposals for the same post or project in the future.

Read the guidance notes

A small number of stations requested grants for items such as capital expenditure although the guidance made it clear that the Fund does not support these requests.

Provide all the information requested

The standard application form clearly sets out that a job description should be included when applying for funding for a post. Some applicants failed to provide the information requested, including job descriptions and financial information. Applicants should refer to the guidance notes for further detail on what should be provided.

Clarity about posts

When applying for a post to be funded, applicants should explain how they have arrived at the proposed salary.

A small number of applicants failed to state whether posts were full time or part time, or whether the sum proposed included National Insurance, pension payments etc. Several applicants who wished to engage a member of staff did not include employer NI contributions in their costings.

Applicants should ensure they are familiar with the National Living Wage legislation.

A clear focus for posts

The Panel favoured applications for posts whose job descriptions showed focus. It is also helpful for the Panel when applicants show how success for the proposed role will be measured e.g. target setting.

Unsuccessful applications were those where the post-holder had a huge range of responsibilities including volunteer management, programming and even presenting daily programmes, alongside revenue development. These were often applications for Station Manager posts. The Panel was unlikely to favour such applications because the post-holder was unlikely to devote sufficient time to income generation, therefore making the investment unsustainable.

Requests for multiple posts

The Panel is seeing a growing number of applications for multiple posts. It is recommended that applicants decide what post would be of most value and apply for funding for that single role.

Requests for repeat funding

A small number of stations applied for extended funding for posts which have previously been funded. The Panel makes decisions based upon the evidence provided by each applicant. In requests for repeat funding, the Panel would expect to see evidence such as the performance of the post-holder to date (including income raised, for example).

Clarity about a station’s financial position

Some applications contained financial information which appeared to show large unrestricted reserves or significant previous years’ trading profit. Some applicants wisely provided narrative information about such items but others did not. Applicants should be aware that any lack of clarity potentially disadvantages their application, as it may give a misleading impression of the state of their finances. The Panel also noted that some stations are part of wider organisations which may be able to offer financial support; some stations were not clear about their relationship to these larger organisations.

Sell your success stories

The Panel enjoyed reading concise descriptions of a station’s history and current activities, particularly those stations which were able to demonstrate their excellent work and social value.

StationPurpose Amount awarded
Belfast FM Limited Sales Training, Coaching and Mentoring Manager£17,245
Radio Saltire SCIOVolunteer Support Worker£15,000
Fiesta FM CICBusiness Development Manager£16,255
Leicester Community Radio Broadcasting C.I.C. Business Development Manager£18,000
Ribble FM C.I.C. Business and Client Manager£16,442
Voice FM Limited Freelance Marketer and Fund-raiser£14,300
Wolverhampton Community Radio Training Patronage and Partnership Officer£12,693
HK Media and Training Ltd Freelance Marketing and Sales Manager£16,000
All Arts & Media Ltd Project Funding£5,300
Gloucester FM Operations Coordinator£19,479
(ELCAP) East Lancashire Community Action Project Limited Sustainability Manager £25,802
Radio Newquay and Media Limited Sales Executive and Sales Support£15,000
West Hull Community Radio LimitedAdvertising Sales Executive£21,917
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