Ofcom has awarded five new community radio licences in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Three of them will cover armed forces bases and have the backing of BFBS. The not-for-profit stations have each been given permission to broadcast for 5 years.
[b]Drive FM[/b] will serve the Derry/Londonderry area and aims to forward the cause of good community relations. It promises to provide a forum for debate on local issues, plus provide entertainment and training opportunities.
Run by BFBS, [b]Aldergrove and Antrim FM[/b] is a community radio service for British soldiers, sailors, airmen, officers, and their families as well as associated civilians living and working at RAF Aldergrove and Masereen Barracks and the surrounding Aldergrove and Antrim communities.
[b]Ballykinler FM [/b]will do the same for people at the Abercorn Barracks and in the surrounding area, whilst [b]Holywood FM [/b]will cover the nearby Palace Barracks in Co. Down.
[b]Speysound Radio[/b] will provide a community radio service to the residents of, and visitors to, Badenoch & Strathspey. The station will provide opportunities for participation and expression across a wide range of ages, cultural backgrounds and musical preferences. It currently broadcasts in the evening slot of the local Moray Firth Radio transmitter.
Two applications have also been rejected – from [b]Riverside FM[/b] (Derry/Londonderry) and [b]Radio Fyneside [/b](Loch Fyne, Argyll). Ofcom will publish details of the reasons for awarding community licences to the groups it has on its website.
Community radio is a new tier of radio which complements the mix of services already provided by the BBC and commercial radio sectors. Community radio services typically cover a small geographical area and are provided on a not-for-profit basis focusing on the delivery of specific social benefits to enrich a particular geographical community or a community of interest.
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