Ofcom has awarded three new community radio licences in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford, but turned down four more.
The new stations coming on-air within two years with a five year licence are BFBS Stafford – serving military personnel at MOD Stafford, Stafford FM, a local community group, and Hitmix Radio which will provide a community radio service for the town of Newcastle-under-Lyme and the surrounding villages.
One applicant, WAM FM (Louth Air Ltd) in Louth, Lincolnshire was refused a licence whilst three more were also rejected due to the lack of FM frequencies. They are BFBS Waddington, Cre8 Radio at Staffordshire University) and 6 Towns Radio in Stoke on Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme & Kidsgrove.
Stafford FM was formed 13 years ago and founder Ray Crowther told RadioToday: “This has been a very long journey. We’ve achieved so much over the years thanks to the commitment of our team and the encouragement of local people”. He went on to say, ”When we launched in October 2001, I never envisaged we’d still be arguing the case for a station to serve Stafford on FM all these years on, but here we are. The hard work now begins in preparation for our launch”.
Stafford FM was helped by The Radio People, fronted by John Evington. He told us: “The Radio People was delighted to be asked by Stafford FM to work with them on their licence application. They are a passionate team with a well thought out plan of how a dedicated radio service will benefit the people of Stafford”.
Community radio services are provided on a not-for-profit basis focusing on the delivery of specific social benefits to a particular geographical community or a community of interest.