Award of grants 2020-21 Round 3

05 May 2021

During the current Covid-19 crisis, community radio can provide a reassuring local voice and essential public health information to millions of people. However, many community stations are facing significant financial challenges as a result of cancelled activities and a downturn in advertising revenue.

In response, the government announced £400,000 of emergency cash funding to help to meet the core costs of providing vital programming to local communities.

The Community Radio Fund Panel (‘the Panel’), which is independent from Ofcom in its decision-making, considered applications for emergency grants in two stages, in May and August 2020 respectively.

Due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, an additional £200,000 was made available by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for a third funding round in 2020-21 to support community radio stations which are taking steps to tackle loneliness and isolation within their communities. The Panel met on 4 February 2021 to consider applications for emergency funding grants.

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:

the Panel awarded 53 grants totalling £200,560 (£560 having been returned to the Fund, following an amended application from Round 2).

  • 91 applications for grants were considered;
  • The funding requested by applicants totalled £470,205;
  • The total amount available was £200,560;
  • 53 applicants were awarded grants totalling £200,560;
  • The grants ranged from £1,100 to £7,440, with an average of £3,784.

The Panel awarded as many grants as possible in accordance with the strict eligibility criteria and guidance issued.

A statement from the Panel explaining the factors they took into account when making their decisions is below. Unsuccessful applicants may find this feedback useful. Any further queries can be submitted to communityradiofund@ofcom.org.uk with an accompanying contact number for a member of the team to call you. We will respond to any queries as quickly as we can, but please note it may take us some time to respond should we have multiple requests from unsuccessful applicants.