More community radio awards

Ofcom has awarded four more community radio groups with a five year licence. The new stations are 3TFM in North Ayrshire, Utopia FM in Sunderland, Community Voice FM in Middlesbrough and Spice FM in Newcastle.

In North Ayrshire, 3TFM, standing for three towns (Stevenston, Saltcoats and Ardrossan) will serve the local community of Stevenston, Saltcoats and Ardrossan with a community radio service which places particular emphasis on improving the health and general well-being of local residents.

Spice FM in Newcastle will aim to serve the South Asian and new and emerging communities of interest and identity. The station's philosophy is centred around the core values of ‘entertain, educate and enlighten’ and ‘by the community….for the community’.

Community Voice FM will serve the community of Middlesbrough, in particular those who are most marginalised and suffer the most disadvantage. It will give a voice to community issues, concerns and interests and involve the community in the development and delivery of the service.

Utopia FM will be a community radio station by and for students at the University of Sunderland and young people in the wider City of Sunderland. The music focus will be ‘new music’ with support for local and regional artists and output will also include material on local culture, education, training and social inclusion. The station has operated for many years with the university, and on special trial licences. Richard Berry, senior lecturer in radio at Sunderland today “We are going to create an exciting radio station that young people can call their own. Not just because they can hear the sort of programmes they like but more importantly because they can have a real say in what it does.

“The new community radio licence means we can really build on the success that Utopia has had over the past ten years. It also means we can do so much more and work closely with the audience and the community in ways that short-term broadcasts could never do.”

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

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