Almost 40 community radio applications have been received by Ofcom, including for areas which have been specifically excluded from the latest round of FM licensing.
There are 38 applicants in total for Ofcom’s community radio Region 5, which is classified as west and south Yorkshire, Humberside and north west England. But when the region was advertised in June, Ofcom said there are no FM frequencies available in places such as Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington, Cheshire (with the exception of Crewe or Nantwich), Leeds, Bradford, Scunthorpe, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham.
Some of the 38 includes proposed stations in Leeds, Bradford, Bury, Manchester, Trafford (Gtr Manchester), Saddleworth and Crewe and Nantwich.
It’s not known at this stage if all these applications are for FM or AM, as whilst Ofcom has specified no FM frequencies in these areas, AM may still be available.
In two of the areas with new applications, Southport and Rossendale, radio stations have closed down and new groups have emerged. Other applications include a hospital radio station in Blackpool, two youth stations in Lancashire, a hit music station in Sheffield and a number of Asian stations.
The full list of stations is below:
AKASH Radio Leeds (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
Beverley FM (Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire)
Beyond Radio (Lancaster and Morecambe, Lancashire)
Blackburn Youth Radio (Blackburn, Lancashire)
Bradford Asian Radio (Bradford, West Yorkshire)
Bury Community Radio (BCR) (Bury, Greater Manchester)
Fantastic Radio (Pudsey, West Yorkshire)
FM Manchester Asia (Manchester)
Fuzion FM (Fir Vale, Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
Harmony FM (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire)
Heritage Community Radio (Manchester, Greater Manchester)
Hit Music Radio (Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
Hull Community Radio (HCR) (East Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire)
Hull Kingston Radio (HKRFM) (Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire)
ILM COMMUNITY RADIO (ICR) (Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
Contact: Fayyaz Hussain Syed
IMAN Radio (Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
Madina Live FM! (Dewsbury and Batley, West Yorkshire)
Mighty FM (Southport, Merseyside)
Monster Radio (Preston, Lancashire)
Radio Azaan (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
Contact: Umran Khan
Radio Barnsley (Barnsley, South Yorkshire)
Radio Make a Change (MAC) (Bradford, West Yorkshire)
Contact: Humair Shahid
Radio Paigham (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire)
Radio Sangam (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire)
Radio Victoria (Blackpool, Lancashire)
Radio Warrington (Warrington, Cheshire)
Contact: Stephen Rakestraw
RedShift Radio (Crewe and Nantwich, Cheshire)
Retro Radio (Saddleworth, Lees, and Mossley, Greater Manchester)
Ribble FM (The Ribble Valley, Lancashire)
Rossendale FM (Rossendale Valley, Lancashire)
Safa Radio (Halifax, West Yorkshire)
Sheffield Community Radio (SCR) (Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
South Humberside Community Radio (Winterton, North Lincolnshire)
The Cat (Crewe and Nantwich, Cheshire)
Trafford Sound (Trafford Borough, Greater Manchester)
U Radio Kirklees (Dewsbury and Batley, West Yorkshire)
Unity FM (Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
West Wolds Radio (Pocklington, East Riding of Yorkshire)
Director of the Community Media Association, Jaqui Devereux, says: “We are delighted that so many applicants – nearly 40 – have come forward to apply for a community radio licence in Region 5 in the Third Round of community radio licensing. This is a phenomenal response given that this region is not even the biggest in terms of area. That so many applications have been made shows the strength of interest in the community broadcasting sector ten years on from the Communications Act 2003 that made it all possible.
“The Community Media Association wishes all applicants the best of luck in getting a licence. Unfortunately this licensing round is significantly oversubscribed in terms of the frequencies available and Ofcom will face a difficult task assessing so many high-quality applications.
“The closure of this licensing round coincides with the current consultation undertaken by the Department of Culture Media & Sport on media ownership and plurality. A thriving community media sector, and in this particular case community radio, makes its contribution to a well-functioning and democratic society through the creation of a tier of informed media-literate citizens who are able to access, consume and create a diverse range of viewpoints across a variety of media platforms. Community media also provides a balance to mainstream – especially commercial – media by preventing too much influence over the political process exercised by any one media owner.
“The CMA is here to assist the community broadcasting sector with all aspects of planning, funding and running a community media project. We would like to advise all candidate community radio licensees in the remaining two regions, 6 and 7, that we would be more than happy to talk to them about and help them with their future plans”.