Award of grants 2023-24: Round 2

Published: 8 March 2024
Last updated: 8 March 2024

Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund Panel (‘the Panel’) met on Tuesday 13 February 2024 to consider applications in the second 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:

  • 72 applications for grants were considered;
  • The total amount of funding requested in these applications was £1,398,349;
  • 14 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £257,832;
  • 58 applicants were not awarded a grant; and,
  • The grants awarded ranged from £9,100 up to £28,000 for individual positions, with an average of £18,417. 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 intend to re-submit proposals for the same post or project in the future. A project that was unsuccessful this time does not necessarily mean the same or similar project won't be funded in the future.

Read the guidance notes

A small number of stations requested grants to cover items like rent, utility bills or capital expenditure. The guidance (PDF, 244.0 KB) makes it clear that the Fund does not support these requests.

Provide all the information requested

Some applicants failed to provide the information requested in the application form, including job descriptions and financial information. Other applicants only provided a vague outline of the proposed post. Applicants should refer to the guidance notes for further detail on what should be provided.

Clarity about posts and salaries

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.

Applicants intending to employ a member of staff should ensure they are familiar with the National Living Wage legislation. Applicants intending to employ someone on a freelance basis should be familiar with HMRC rules regarding self-employment.

Several applicants who wished to engage a member of staff did not include employer NI contributions in their costings or had miscalculated them.

A clear focus for posts

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

Some unsuccessful applications suggested roles 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 saw a 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 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; whereas other stations were not clear about their relationship to these larger organisations.

Have someone double check your application

One or two applications were unclear in places or hard to read.  It can assist an application if a person not involved in its original writing "proof reads" it before it is submitted.

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.

LicenseePurpose Amount granted
Nevis Radio Sales and Fundraising Co-ordinator £16,000
Spice FM Fundraising Manager £22,750
Zetland FM Community Engagement Co-ordinator £9,100
Asian Star Sales Support Officer £13,064
Frome FM Business Development and Fundraising Manager £14,112
Leeds Dance Community Radio Business Development Manager £11,600
Reform Radio Business Manager £21,289
Rossendale Radio Business Development Officer £17,847
Rother Radio Sustainability and Funding Manager £21,917
Somer Valley FM Business Development Manager £10,508
Wythenshawe FM 3 Freelance Roles £27,000
Erewash Sound Advertising and Sales Manager £26,589
Radio Plus Community Engagement
and Business Development Officer
Resonance FM Production Manager £18,056
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