Four new community radio licences awarded in Suffolk

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Ofcom has announced the award of four new community radio licences, all of which are to serve in the county of Suffolk.

Community radio services typically cover a small geographical area and are provided on a not-for-profit basis focusing on the delivery of specific social benefits to enrich a particular geographical community or a community of interest.

Ofcom has awarded community radio licences to:

* Blyth Valley Radio (Southwold)
* Radio West Suffolk (Bury St Edmunds)
* Felixstowe Radio (Felixstowe)
* Zeta Digital FM (Forest Heath)

Details of these four new community radio licensees in Suffolk are as follows:

Blyth Valley Radio
Contact: William Jagger

Blyth Valley Radio will provide a service to Southwold and surrounding villages. It will give local people the chance to access training in radio and social skills, and enable local community and charitable, social and voluntary organisations to promote themselves. It will encourage local talent and raise awareness of issues which affect the community, and provide entertainment, local information and news.

Radio West Suffolk
Contact: Mrs Julie MacLeod

Radio West Suffolk will serve the people of Bury St Edmunds. It will provide programmes that will be interesting and challenging to its community both as listeners and as programme makers. Programmes will be entertaining and cover local events, issues and concerns. The service will feature local musicians as well as live events from venues in Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding area. Its speech output will include coverage of local sports and it will provide an opportunity for local groups to communicate with their audience.

Felixstowe Radio
Contact: Ann Kearney

Felixstowe Radio will serve the Colneis Peninsular, including Felixstowe, Walton and surrounding villages. It aims to create a real sense of community and provide a platform that any local person or organisation can use. It will provide local news and information, including port and other maritime information, as well as entertainment.

Zeta Digital FM
Contact: Jeff Davis

Forest Heath Public Radio will serve the people of the Forest Heath area of West Suffolk by providing a radio service run by its members. It will offer programmes with social action content so listeners can make more informed choices about their own lives, programmes in languages other than English and engage with young people – to give them a sense of belonging and self-worth. The service will offer training to local people and organisations to allow them to make their own programmes under their own editorial control. Forest Heath Public Radio aims to foster understanding, integration and social cohesion, and will work in partnership with local organisations.

Licences are awarded for a five-year period.

A statement setting out the main determining factors for the award of the four community radio licences referred to above will be available shortly from the Ofcom website.

In addition to the licence awards detailed above, Ofcom considered one further application, but decided not to award a licence to the following group:

* Coast Community Radio (Clacton-on-Sea, Essex)

Applications for community radio licences are being invited on a region-by-region basis. Further details can be found on the Ofcom website.

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