Ofcom's Community Radio Fund Panel met on Monday 28 June to consider applications for the first round of grant awards for 2010/11. In summary, at the time of the meeting:
- The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has allocated £463,000 for the Community Radio Fund for 2010/11 (a further £20,000 was allocated by DCMS to other community radio projects)
- 47 applications were considered
- Funding applications totalled £863,553.81
- 14 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £208,634
- 33 applicants were not awarded a grant
First round of applications for funding in 2010/11
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 £14,902. 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 feels strongly that it is important that, as much as possible, grants from the Community Radio Fund should help further a station’s financial stability and future sustainability. Therefore, even though the Panel can consider grants for posts that support community outreach or volunteer support, for example, (and the Panel recognises that these are core station functions) it favours, as stated in our guidance notes, applications that focus on posts that will promote long-term financial sustainability.
With regard to the applications the Panel considered in this funding round, it would like to make the following points:
- A grant from the Fund for new stations is not a foregone conclusion, and 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.
- The Panel would like to remind applicants to take due note of the guidance as well as the guidelines included within the application form when completing applications. Some applications in this round sought funding for items that the panel considered ineligible. This included, for example, applications for equipment costs, publicity costs, website costs and funding for journalists. The Panel would like to remind applicants to have regard to the list of exclusions that the Fund will not support. This is listed in Annex A of the Community Radio Fund Guidance Notes. (http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/broadcast/radio-ops/guidancenotes230210.pdf)
- Some applicants did not include job descriptions and/or work plans in their submissions for staff funding (question four of the grant application specifies that this is a requirement). The Panel needs this information in order to consider whether the job description of the post to be filled corresponds with the outline description given in an application, or alternatively that the work plan for the post-holder matches the work priorities outlined in the Fund application.
- Lastly, the Panel would like to emphasise to previous grant recipients how important the feedback is from previous grant spends and that this information forms part of the decision-making process (question twelve of the grant application, and separately in the grant report form).
The Panel will continue to prioritise making grants to newly-licensed stations and to funding core activities and those which will improve the sustainability of a station. The Panel considers promoting long-term sustainability a critical, core activity, and will take special note of innovative proposals that have this aim, such as those focusing on fund-raising and business development. The Panel also continues to believe there is scope for collaborative working or joint applications from stations.
Applications for the second round of funding in 2010/11
- A total of £254,366 remains in the Fund for the financial year 2010/11. Applications for the second round will be invited in October 2010, with a closing date in November 2010 and decisions in January 2011 (dates to be confirmed).
- The Panel will give priority to those applicants who have not received funding in previous years. But would urge all applicants to take note of the observations outlined above.
Summary of grants awarded in the first round for 2010/11
| Station || Location|| Purpose|| Amount
| 107 Meridian FM || East Grinstead || Business Development Manager || £17,464
| 107.5 Switch Radio || Castle Vale, Birmingham || Station Manager (part-fund) || £16,208
| Corby Radio || Corby || Station Manager || £17,250
| Future Radio || Norwich || Advertising Coordinator (part-time) || £13,277
| Gaydio || Manchester || Business Development Manager || £15,000
| Moorlands Community Radio || Biddulph || Sales and Fundraising Manager || £16,188
| Penistone FM 95.7 || Penistone || Fundraising & Development Officer (part-time) || £14,707
| Radio LaB || Luton || Fundraiser (part-time) || £8,605
| Radio Sandwell || West Bromwich || Project Development/ Fund Raising Officer || £16,920
| Radio St Austell Bay || St Austell Bay || Fundraiser (part-time) || £9,000
| Stroud FM || Stroud || Business Development Manager (part-time) || £14,985
| Takeover Radio 106.9 || Sutton in Ashfield || Station Manager || £17,150
| The Bay Radio & Forest FM || Poole and East Verwood, Dorset || Shared Business Development Officer || £15,382
| TMCR FM || Thorne & Moorends || Station Manager || £16,498