Ofcom awards 12 new low-power FM radio services

Twelve services will commence broadcasting on FM soon via Ofcom’s latest Limited Coverage FM Restricted Services experiment.

The regulator welcomed applications earlier this year for the trial, with 23 applications received by the closing date of 30 April 2021.

Each station will be on-air for 12 months using low-power FM covering a short range of up to around 1 km radius.

The trial will test whether the use of limited coverage FM spectrum is a viable way of making more spectrum available for the licensing of restricted radio services in the future.

Ofcom expects it to be particularly suitable for providing radio services to defined establishments such as hospitals or army barracks.

The 12 new services are:

  • Harrogate Hospital Radio
  • Our Island Radio – Isle of Wight
  • Hospital Radio Plymouth
  • Radio Redhill – Surrey
  • LCR2 – Leicester
  • Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio
  • Anker Radio – Nuneaton
  • Forest Gold Radio – Epping
  • University Radio York
  • Scout Radio – Chingford
  • BFBS Blandford – Bovington
  • BFBS Gurkha Radio – Dover

One of the winning applicants, Harrogate Hospital Radio, has announced it will be broadcasting on 95.3FM from September 1st at 9.53am.

Chairman, Mark Oldfield said: “Our aim is for more patients to listen to Harrogate Hospital Radio with the purchase of approximately 300 FM radios, so each bed will have a radio to listen to, and to request music on Harrogate Hospital Radio.

“Our aim for the future is to be Harrogate District Hospital and the surrounding area’s dedicated local radio station.”

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