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Group re-apply for licence

Plymouth Radio have confirmed they will bid again for the town's re-advertised radio licence, handed back to Ofcom by Macquarie. Two of the previous bidders have said they will not be applying.

Chairman David Rodgers told the Plymouth Herald: "It was a tough decision to re-apply after all the cost and hard work that went into our original application two years ago. The board, however, still believes in the concept of local radio and has decided to proceed."

The group have until April 30th to apply and will have to pay another non-refundable fee of £5,000.

The regulator announced it would be re-advertising the licence in November after the controversial winner of the first bid, Australian bank Macquarie returned the licence. Despite initial suggestions they would become a key player in UK radio, Macquarie have made no further progress into the market.

Four local bids inlcuding Plymouth Radio all failed to win the license.

Ian Calvert of the Plymouth Live bid has confirmed the group will not be applying again, as has James Hockin of Drake FM, citing changing market conditions and a frustration at the way Ofcom handled the application process last time.

At the time of the first licence award in February 2006, Peter Jones, a director of Drake FM strongly criticised the award, saying: "I think that the Diamond FM format will fail in Plymouth — classic rock is available online, on digital, and via downloads."

"To the best of my understanding, MacQuarie have not sought to engage any Plymouth communities, whether advertiser or listener."

It is not known whether the fourth failed applicant Armada FM will bid for the licence again.

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