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Ofcom explains recent awards

Ofcom recently awarded six community radio groups a five year licence each. As with all licence awards, Ofcom releases details of why they were successful. The new licences cover Blaenau Gwent, Swansea, Devon, Somerset and Cornwall.

[b]BRfm, Brynmawr, Blaenau Gwent[/b]
The application from BRfm was well thought-through and clearly referenced the wealth of experience this group has built up running RSLs and broadcasting via the internet (1a). The group already owns two studios, has secured some grant funding and gained experience in fund-raising both from grants and advertising (1a). It has effectively built links with appropriate local businesses and organisations as well as the target community, and provided much evidence of support for the application (1d). Proposals for training, both formal and informal, are appropriate and well-considered, and the group has some experience of providing training in the past (1e & 1g).

[b]Radio Tircoed, Tircoed Forest Village, Swansea[/b]
This group is based in a tight-knit local community from which it has attracted a great deal of support for its proposals (1d). It has a clear local focus which will broaden choice for the community (1c). This group has run four successful temporary restricted service licences (RSLs) and, building on this experience, it has established a sound and sustainable financial footing and appropriate technical facilities (1a).

[b]Soundart Radio, Dartington & Totnes, Devon[/b]
Soundart Radio's arts-based programming proposals were considered to be particularly strong in relation to broadening choice (1c). The group set out well-developed proposals for the delivery of 'social gain', (1e), which were especially strong in relation to the facilitation of discussion and expression of opinion, as well as in relation to developing the better understanding of the community and the strengthening of links within it. In relation to its accountability to the community, (1f), Soundart Radio set out a number of ways in which members of the target community could influence the operation of the service. Its proposals concerning the provision of access to, and training in, the use of station facilities, (1g) were also considered to be appropriate.

[b]Somer Valley FM, Midsomer Norton & Radstock, Somerset[/b]
Somer Valley FM demonstrated a strong commitment to delivering locally-focused and diverse material that would appeal to the communities of Midsomer Norton and Radstock (1b). The group has established strong links with Somer Vale School, which will enable the radio station to provide comprehensive training programmes to the community in the future (1a & 1e). The group received considerable support from the community during its temporary RSL broadcast, and this support has been maintained (1d).

[b]A39 Radio, Falmouth & Penryn, Cornwall[/b]
This group proposes a diverse range of programming appropriate to different groups within the target community, which would broaden choice locally (1c). It has built links with stakeholders in the local community (1d), and sits within a noted media education institution which provides it with access to specialist broadcast and media expertise and a secure base to run the service (1a and 1e). This group has a particularly strong approach to training and education for the whole community at a range of different skill levels (1e and 1g).

[b]Radio St Austell Bay, Cornwall[/b]
Radio St Austell Bay has built a successful community media operation with a sizeable membership base and the support of a wide range of stakeholders, including local government, media, business groups and the voluntary sector (1a and 1d). The directors and existing volunteers have relevant experience (1a). The programming proposals draw on the expertise of volunteers and past experience to provide a clear local theme which will broaden choice locally (1c).

Click [link=http://www.ofcom.org.uk/radio/ifi/rbl/commun_radio/tlproc/awards/feb07/]here[/link] for more details.

[link=https://radiotoday.co.uk]RadioToday.co.uk – non-stop radio news[/link] radionews@radiotoday.co.uk or call 0871 315 6 315

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