Award of grants 2022-23: Round 1
Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund Panel (‘the Panel’) met on Wednesday 13 July 2022 to consider applications in the first round of funding for the 2022-23 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:
- 47 applications for grants were considered;
- the total amount of funding requested in these applications was £757,370;
- 18 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £242,395; and
- 29 applicants were not awarded a grant.
The grants awarded ranged from £4,320 up to £18,955 for individual positions, with an average of £13,466. A summary of the awards is at the end of this statement.
Request feedback before resubmitting proposals
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 volunteer expenses, capital expenditure and marketing costs although the guidance made it clear that the Fund does not support these requests.
Provide evidence to support your application
The Panel makes decisions based upon the evidence provided by each applicant. A small number of stations provided very little information to support their application and as a result, they were unsuccessful.
The Panel would also welcome information about how stations intend to measure success. For instance, applicants requesting funding for advertising sales posts should set out the likely revenue they anticipate generating through advertising sales.
Provide all the information we request
Applicants should supply the requested supporting information, such as relevant financial information or a job description if applying for funding for a post. Applicants should refer to the guidance notes for further detail on what should be provided.
Set realistic salaries
Some stations specified high salaries for full-time fundraising positions which were disproportionate to the station’s income and were unlikely to be sustainable beyond the grant period. Conversely, some stations specified very low salaries with modest hours and the Panel was mindful of feedback from previous applicants that they sometimes struggled to attract candidates to the role when the salary was too modest.
Explore new ways to generate revenue
The Panel welcomed applications in this round from stations who were attempting to pursue new forms of revenue generation such as digital marketing packages. It was also pleased to provide funding for a survey which aims to demonstrate the impact and value of community radio; the Panel felt this would be a valuable resource for the whole sector in providing information for potential advertisers, sponsors and partners.
Provide a clear focus for job posts
The Panel favoured applications for posts whose job descriptions showed focus. Unsuccessful applications included 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.
A small number of stations submitted confusing applications suggesting that posts could be split in two or combined with other roles. These applications were unsuccessful as it was not clear what the Fund would be supporting.
Contractor or employee?
Applicants continue to state that roles can be awarded to self-employed contractors who invoice on a monthly basis. The Panel does not directly employ those who are awarded funding, so it not within its remit to decide whether post-holders are self-employed for tax purposes. The Panel reminds applicants that HMRC rules have changed regarding off-payroll working. Should applicants be found in breach of off-payroll rules, the Fund is not liable to make up any shortfall due to repayment of Income Tax or National Insurance Contributions. Full guidance for future applicants is available on the GOV.UK website.
|Business Development Manager
|Drive 105 FM
|External Fundraising Organisation
|Impact Reporting (Joint bid)
|Academy FM Folkestone
|Apprentice Sales Assistant
|Purbeck Coast FM
|Sustainability and Development Manager
|Fundraising and Business Development Co-Ordinator
|Assistant Station Manager
|Station Sustainability Manager
|Social Media Commercial Manager
|Community Project and Fundraising Co-Ordinator
|Oldham Community Radio
|Community Partnership Manager
|CEO (Increased hours)
|Fundraising and Finance Officer
|Salford City Radio
|Funding and Project Development Manager