Seven of the twelve community radio stations awarded licences last month for Wales and South West England will not be be allowed to sell advertising or take commercial sponsors.
Ofcom has published the reasons for its decisions to award the 12 new licences, and the restrictions placed on just over half of them are because they’re in areas where there is a commercial radio station with a TSA under 150,000.
The following licences were awarded during April:
Access FM, Bridgwater, Somerset
Air, Weymouth, Dorset
Apple FM, Taunton, Somerset
Bay FM Radio, Exmouth, Devon
Glan Clwyd AM, Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire
Harlech FM, Harlech, Gwynedd
MônFM, Isle of Anglesey
Pulse Radio, Cheddar Valley, Somerset
Q-mmunity Radio, Crediton, Devon
Radio Beca, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and north Pembrokeshire
Tone FM, Taunton, Somerset
The Voice, Barnstaple, Bideford & Ilfracombe, North Devon
Access FM, Apple FM, Pulse Radio, Q-mmunity Radio and Tone FM will be allowed to take advertising and sponsorship revenue as long as it doesn’t account for more than 50% of its annual income, as per the regulations for most community radio stations in the UK.
However, Air, Bay FM Radio, Glan Clwyd AM, Harlech FM, MônFM, Radio Beca and The Voice will each have a condition in their licence prohibiting income from the sale of advertising or programme or station sponsorship. This is because the expected coverage of each service falls within the coverage area of a local commercial radio service which has fewer than 150,000 adults living in its measured coverage area. In the case of Air it is Wessex FM; for Bay FM Radio it is Radio Exe; for Glan Clwyd AM it is Heart (North Wales Coast); for both Harlech FM and MônFM it is Heart FM (Anglesey & Gwynedd), for Radio Beca it is both Radio Pembrokeshire and Radio Ceredigion and for The Voice it is Heart (Devon).
Under current legislation, community radio services in such areas are prevented from seeking advertising and programme or station sponsorship revenue if the coverage of the two stations overlaps by 50% or more in terms of adult (15+) population.
You can read more about what each of the 12 licences are expected to deliver as part of their formats on the Ofcom website.