Eight new community radio licences in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland have been awarded by Ofcom.
The new stations will serve communities in Bristol, Maldon, and Newcastle and Gateshead, in England; Belfast in Northern Ireland; as well as Cumbernauld, and Musselburgh, Tranent and Wallyford in Scotland.
The stations are:
BE FM – a cross-community and non-denominational Christian radio station for listeners in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Cumbernauld FM – serving communities in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire.
Juice – serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Maldon Community Radio – which will now cover a larger part of the Maldon District area in Essex. (It already broadcasts a community radio service across a smaller area. It will need to surrender that licence should it take up this licence offer.).
Pride FM Tyneside – a radio station for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Newcastle and Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, already broadcasting online.
Radio Saltire – a community radio station for the people of Tranent, Wallyford and Musselburgh, East Lothian.
Radio Tyneside – the hospital radio station will promote good health and wellbeing to the over 50s in Newcastle and Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
SWU.FM – which will broadcast urban, electronic and dance music to young people in Bristol.
In addition to the licence awards detailed above, Ofcom considered a further application, but decided not to award a licence to Saltmarsh Coast (RackSecure Limited), Maldon District, Essex.
Pride FM started life with a temporary FM licence in 2010 and has been online since. Peter Darrant, station boss, told RadioToday: “This is great news and means our programmes will available more widely. It’s recognition of the hard work we have put in. Our team have been amazing and I’d like to thank all those listeners and organisations who wrote letters of support for us. This will make a difference to the lives of LGBT people everyday who live in our area”
It was originally started by broadcaster Jonathan Morrell. “I never thought this would catch on so quickly and become something people would really love. Getting the idea off the ground in 2010 was hard and many weren’t sure why we needed it. This is a dream come true.”