Community radio applicant Radio Scarborough has been turned down for a broadcast licence by Ofcom, just days after being given a Lottery grant and launching an online station.
Ofcom has today announced the award of a licence to Zetland FM, covering Redcar and Cleveland, but says applications from Radio Scarborough and Palace FM have been rejected.
The Scarborough station, set up by former Radio York presenter Jerry Scott, only launched online on Tuesday this week after being given £8,980 to cover costs for 12 months by the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards For All.
The station has promised a service that will appeal to an older age group during the day, a weekday evening show created by and for teenagers, programmes featuring Scarborough’s vibrant local music scene and a news and information show for the town’s Eastern European residents. It also says it plans to introduce regular live match updates from all Scarborough Athletic fixtures.
Speaking before today’s announcement from Ofcom, Station and Funding Manager Jerry Scott said: “While we await a decision by Ofcom regarding the FM community radio licence, we felt the opportunity to start developing links with those underserved by existing local radio was too good to miss; the real people of the town telling their stories and playing their music and making us a place to come to for regular news, information, debate and music relevant to them. Having the chance given to us by Big Lottery Fund, Awards For All to start the whole project on line really gives the local community and us the chance to create great radio just for Scarborough! I’d like to thank the volunteers who have been getting in touch and we’re really looking forward to working with them soon. I’d also like to welcome all our on line followers; we hope they like what we’re trying to achieve and it would be great to hear their ideas on programmes and features relevant to where they live.”
Palace FM has also be running an online station since April in anticipation of being awarded an FM licence by Ofcom.
Zetland FM said it was delighted with Ofcom’s decision today to award an FM community radio licence for the Redcar and Cleveland area. Chairman Jeremy Gartland said “This licence award is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work from the entire Zetland FM team, and would not have been possible without the incredible support we have received from local people, organisations and businesses. We have lots of very exciting plans for Zetland FM, and look forward to bringing a brand new truly local community radio service to listeners in Redcar and Cleveland.”
A further 10 applications for community radio licences in North Yorkshire, the North East and Cumbria are still being considered by Ofcom. Applicants in the North West and Yorkshire have until Tuesday 15th October at 5pm to get their applications in.
Read Ofcom’s reasons for giving a licence to Zetland FM here.
Community Media Association Director, Jaqui Devereux, says: “We’re delighted that one of our members, Zetland FM, has been given the opportunity to broadcast full-time in the Redcar area. A community radio station will bring great benefit to local residents and we’re looking forward to hearing their broadcasts.
“We would like to wish the ten remaining applicants in the region – as well as those in the North West and the rest of Yorkshire – the very best of luck.
“The current licensing round is significantly oversubscribed in terms of the frequencies available, so it’s more important than ever that applications are of high quality.
“The CMA are here to assist members with all aspects of their applications, and we’d like to remind prospective community radio licensees that we would be happy to talk to them about their plans.”