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Community radio surges ahead

More than eight million people are now able to tune into community radio stations and demand is still high for licences, Ofcom’s first Annual Report of Community Radio has revealed.

Over 130 community stations are now broadcasting across the UK, with another 50 preparing to launch. These not-for-profit radio stations cover small geographical areas and each typically provides 81 hours of original output a week – mostly locally produced.

Among the scheme’s success stories are the urban music station, New Style, Birmingham, the much admired experimental music service, Resonance FM, London, Edinburgh Garrison FM, which provides for the Armed Forces and their families and Cross Rhythms, Stoke-on-Trent, which works with religious communities.

Peter Davies, Ofcom’s Director of Radio Policy, said: “Community radio is a real success story. It delivers rich and varied content to listeners and provides additional benefits through community involvement and training. We are delighted that interest from those wishing to run such stations for their own communities remains high.”

Community radio licensing was introduced by Ofcom and the first licence was awarded in March 2005.

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