Short-term RSLs, which enable stations to broadcast to a small area for up to 28 days, remain popular in the face of the economic downturn according to Ofcom.
In its annual RSL report, the regulator says 438 licences were issued during 2008, up from 432 in the previous year.
Trials for prospective community radio stations made up the bulk of RSL broadcasts, while other major uses for the licences were student radio stations; religious broadcasts, around half of which were for Muslim communities; services for festivals; and low-power in-stadium broadcasts for sports events.
Of the community radio services, Ofcom says: "The demand was mainly from groups who submitted applications for community radio licences as part of the second round which began in 2006."
Meanwhile, 10 new long-term restricted service licences were issued during 2008, including two student services, a Traffic Radio station near Birmingham and a station at a Gurkha base in Stafford.
The report in full can be viewed at Ofcom's website by clicking [url=http://www.ofcom.org.uk/radio/ifi/rbl/rsls/rsl_report08.pdf]here[/url].