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Lark FM (KM-FM) wins Ashford FM licence

Ofcom today announces the award of the new FM local commercial radio licence for Ashford, in Kent.

By the closing date of 21 October 2004, Ofcom received six applications for the Ashford licence. After giving careful consideration to each of the applications submitted, the Ofcom Radio Licensing Committee has decided to award the licence to:

Lark FM (KM-FM Ashford) – contact: Ms Nikki Allen, Lark FM, Express House, 34-36 North Street, Ashford , Kent TN24 8JR, tel: 0770 809 9149, email: studio@larkfm.co.uk.

Lark FM, which will broadcast as KM-FM Ashford, is owned by Kent Messenger Ltd (67%), Barretts Ltd (10%) and Hobbs Parker Partnership (7.5%), with the balance of the shares held by 10 individuals. It will provide Ashford Borough with a full service of music and speech for adults of all ages in the area, playing a wide variety of contemporary and classic tracks accompanied by locally-focused news, comprehensive local and practical information and other speech features relevant to listeners in the Ashford area.

The licence is for a service to cover Ashford, in Kent, and the immediately surrounding area which has an adult population (aged 15+) of around 60,000. However, the exact coverage will be determined by the location of the transmission site and other technical characteristics. The proposed frequency (107.6 MHz) is subject to international agreement on radio spectrum usage.

Ofcom expects KM-FM Ashford to begin broadcasting at the earliest opportunity and no later than two years from this award date.

Ofcom shortly will publish a statement setting out the key determining factors for the award of this licence.

The licence will be issued for a twelve year period.

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