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Another boost for Community Radio

Ofcom today announces the award of seven new community radio licences. This brings the total number of community radio licences awarded to date to 55.

Community radio is a new sector of radio being introduced in the UK. It will become the third tier of radio which will complement the mix of services already provided by the BBC and commercial radio sectors.

Click here for our community radio database.

The characteristics of community radio are distinct from commercial radio in that the services will cover a small geographical area and be provided on a not-for-profit basis focusing on the delivery of specific social benefits to enrich a particular geographical community or a community of interest.

Ofcom has awarded community radio licences in the following areas:

Alnwick, Northumberland
Newcastle upon Tyne
Kirkby Lonsdale , Cumbria
Withernsea, East Yorkshire
Pontypool, South Wales
The new community radio licensees in each of these areas are:

Lionheart Radio (Alnwick and surrounding area, Northumberland)
Contact: George Millar, Alnwick Community Development Trust, The Centre, 27 Fenkle Street, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1HW
Tel: 01665 602244 email: studio@lionheartradio.co.uk website: www.lionheartradio.co.uk
Lionheart Radio will aim to serve all the residents of Alnwick and surrounding areas in this rural district of Northumberland.

Community Broadcast Initiative Tyneside (CBIT) (parts of Newcastle upon Tyne)
Contact: Elaine Parker, CBIT, 41 Jesmond Vale, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1PG
Tel: 0191 278 2957 email: admin@cbit.org.uk website: www.cbit.org.uk
CBIT will aim to broadcast to, and encourage participation from, some of the deprived communities of Newcastle.

LVR FM ( Lune Valley Radio) (Kirkby Lonsdale and surrounding areas, Cumbria)
Contact: Paul Broadbent, LVR FM, 9 Market Street, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria LA6 2AU
Tel: 015242 71294 email: paul@lakelandtoday.com
LVR will serve the semi-rural community within the Lune Valley area, and centred on the market town of Kirkby Lonsdale.

Seaside Radio (Withernsea and surrounding area, East Yorkshire)
Contact: Lyz Turner, Seaside Radio, 27 Seaside Road, Withernsea, East Yorkshire HU19 2DL
Tel: 07903 729993 email: lyz@seasideradio.org website: www.seasideradio.org
Seaside Radio aims to become an essential participatory service to the rurally isolated and socially deprived communities along the Holderness coastline in East Yorkshire.

Youth Community Radio ( Worcester)
Contact: Chris Fox, Youth Community Media, Saint John?s Youth Centre, Swanpool Walk, Worcester WR2 4EL
Tel: 0845 226 1246 email: chris@youthcommunitymedia.org.uk website: www.youthcommunitymedia.org.uk
This service will be ?owned? and operated by local young people (11-25 year olds) in Worcester.

Gloucester FM (City of Gloucester)
Contact: Derrick Francis, The Trust Centre, Conduit Street, Gloucester, GL1 4XH
Tel: 01452 521693 email: Gfmno1@hotmail.com website: www.gfm.org.uk
Gloucester FM will provide a service targeting black and ethnic minority communities as well as disadvantaged groups in the City of Gloucester.

Toradio (Torfaen, South Wales)
Contact: Patrick Graham c/o CoStar, 6 Blenheim Square , St. Dials, Cwmbran,Torfaen NP44 4RS
Tel: 01633 838063 email:patrick@costar-cwmbran.co.uk website: www.tormedia.info
Toradio aims to provide an inclusive service for all residents in the County Borough of Torfaen. (This service will broadcast on AM.)

Applications for the first wave of community radio licences were invited in September 2004. Ofcom received 194 applications and is currently in the process of assessing those applications and examining frequency availability options. The applications can be viewed at: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/radio/ifi/rbl/commun_radio/tlproc/applications/

There are currently 14 pilot community radio stations operating around the UK. Given the large number of applications received for community radio licences, Ofcom decided to assess them in order of priority by first considering applications for areas where the 14 pilot community radio stations are currently broadcasting, before moving on to look at applications for areas not involved in the pilot scheme. Ofcom expects to complete this round of the community radio awards process early in 2006.

Licences are awarded for a five-year period.

A statement setting out the main determining factors for the award of the seven community radio licences set out above will be available shortly from the Ofcom website.

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