The first round of the Community Radio Fund 2021-22, with £400,000 available, is now open for applications.
For the first time, C-DSP licence holders are able to apply, with a closing date of 5pm on Friday 25 June 2021.
In 2020-21, grants were provided as emergency cash funding to support stations facing severe financial difficulty due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
For 2021-22, the Fund will return to supporting the core costs of running Ofcom-licensed community radio stations, as set out in the guidance notes.
Licensees that hold a Community Digital Sound Programme (C-DSP) licence are eligible to apply for the Fund if the station is broadcasting on a digital radio multiplex at the date of their application.
Ofcom says it expects that the Community Radio Fund Panel will meet in August 2021 to consider the applications. However, scheduling will depend on the volume of applications received.
Reacting to the news, Martin Steers from the UK Community Radio Network, told RadioToday: “It’s great to see the fund has opened to support community radio, and we welcome the changes back to core funding to enable stations to grow and develop to become more sustainable.
“We also welcome the addition of C-DSP licenses now being able to apply for funding, but will continue the call on the DCMS and wider government to increase the fund to enable the ever-increasing number of eligible stations to be able to receive much-needed funding.”