Community Radio Fund: award of grants for 2013/14 Round 1

12 July 2013

Ofcom's Community Radio Fund Panel met on Tuesday 2 July 2013 to consider applications in the first round of grant awards for 2013/14.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) initially allocated £436,000 for the Community Radio Fund for 2013/14. Subsequently DCMS notified us that it had allocated a total of £29,500 of this to other community projects. Earlier this year DCMS informed us that reductions in its budget in autumn 2012 and again in spring 2013 meant that the total available to Ofcom to administer for 2013/14 had been reduced to £397,456.

In summary, at the meeting:

  • 50 applications for grants were considered
  • The total amount of funding requested in these applications was £829,974
  • 12 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £175,881
  • 38 applicants were not awarded a grant

The Panel reviewed each application and awarded funding based on the information provided, and with reference to the Community Radio Fund guidance notes. The Panel’s decisions were for:

  • a full award;
  • a partial award; or
  • not to award any funding.

The average grant in this round was £14,657; the size of award ranged from £5,850 to £24,264 (for a post shared by two stations). A table setting out the awards is at the end of this statement.

Issues of note arising from the Panel meeting

In the current financial climate the Panel felt strongly that, as much as possible, grants from the Community Radio Fund should help further a station’s financial stability and future sustainability. Therefore proposals for posts to promote long-term financial security and which could become self-sustaining were favoured by the Panel over applications for other support posts, even if they were considered core station functions.

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

  • The Panel has a limited amount of funding available, and so it cannot make grants to all applicant stations.
  • Applicants need to make their case sufficiently well for the Panel to be confident that a grant will be well-spent, and enhance the future viability and sustainability of the station.
  • With regard to roles specifically to raise funds for stations, such as fundraiser and business development roles, the Panel considers that as an absolute minimum the post holder should aim to raise the equivalent of their own salary in the course of the grant spend, as well as securing funding towards station costs, and in so doing make the role self-sustaining and likely to continue once the grant has been spent. The Panel likes to see clear financial targets set for such posts. When a station reports back on how the grant was spent, the Panel would like to know how much money the postholder raised.
  • The relevant guidance notes, published statements and instructions within the application form should be read before applying to the Fund. Some applications in this round sought funding for items that the Panel considered ineligible. This included, for example, applications to fund research, marketing costs, and promotional costs. A list of exclusions the Fund cannot support is listed in Annex A of the Community Radio Fund Guidance Notes. (
  • Some applicants did not include sufficient information, job descriptions and/or work plans in their submissions for staff funding (question four of the application form specifies that this is a requirement). This information is important to the Panel in order to consider whether the job description for a post corresponds with the outline description given in an application, or alternatively to ensure that the work plan for a post-holder matches the work priorities outlined in the Fund application.
  • Lastly, the Panel would like to emphasise the importance of consistency in an application. For example, a number of applications referred to a job title that was different from that used on the job description.

Summary of grants awarded in July 2013 (first round for 2013/14)


Station name Location Purpose Award
3TFM Stevenston, Saltcoats and Ardrossan, N Ayrshire Station Manager/Volunteer Co-ordinator (part-funding) £8,000
Abbey 104 Sherborne, Dorset Sustainable Funding Manager (p/t) £19,500
Angel Radio Havant, Hampshire Programme Development Officer (p/t) – for a project of benefit to the sector £5,850
Hayes FM
Hayes, Middlesex
Business Development Manager (p/t) £15,000
Radio Asian Fever Leeds Business Development Officer £18,000
Radio Faza Nottingham Business Development Manager (p/t) £14,687
Radio Verulam St Albans Business Development Manager (p/t) £11,800
Radio Winchcombe Winchcombe, Gloucestershire Strategy and planning post (p/t) £6,750
Switch Radio Castle Vale, Birmingham Funding and Development Manager £17,507
Takeover Radio Leicester Fundraising Officer – shared post for two stations £24,264
Ujima Radio St Pauls and Easton, Bristol Project Trainer – for a sustainable revenue stream £17,283
Vibe 107.6 FM Watford Station Manager (p/t) £17,240



The Panel considers promoting long-term sustainability a critical, core activity. The Panel also continues to believe there is scope for collaborative working or joint applications from stations.

The Panel is aware of the growing importance of social media, particularly to young people, the socially isolated and those on low budgets, many of which population segments are target audiences for community radio. It would welcome applications which explore the potential of social media to improve community radio station coverage (reach), community involvement and financial sustainability.

Applications for the second round of funding in 2013/14

  • Applications will be invited in October 2013 with a closing date in November, dates to be confirmed.
  • The Panel will meet to make decisions on these applications in January 2014.
  • £221,575 will be available for the second round of Fund grants for 2013/14.

The Panel would urge all applicants to take note of the remarks outlined above.


July 2013