General Election Press Release

Posted by & filed under Campaigns, Funding, Policy.

News Release, 22 April 2010

From the Council of the Community Media Association

Support community media and save double!

The Community Media Association calls on all prospective MPs to back the
community radio sector and other forms of community media in the new
Parliament by recognising the economic and social impact of the sector and
supporting strategies to increase the resources available.

For every pound put into the existing Community Radio Fund, the country
saves at least two pounds of spending by other government departments, in
particular communities, justice and education budgets.

The sector also delivers on a range of other government priorities including
encouraging democratic engagement, community cohesion, climate change and
green awareness, international development, increasing volunteering,
informal training, increasing employability and engagement and participation
in the arts.

Therefore the CMA calls on the new Parliament to redirect resources
immediately into the Community Radio Fund, from all government departments
and through other appropriate funding channels, and to review the wider
community media sector with a view to expanding the Fund to cover other
media forms, to enable this fast growing sector to play its full part in
meeting the economic and social challenges that face the UK over the coming
years.

More than 200 community radio stations have been licensed since 2005,
working across urban and rural Britain to boost community voice and deliver
local news, information, arts and other programming made by local people
themselves.

Sir Anthony Everitt, in his evaluation of the access pilot community radio
stations which led to the licensing of this sector in 2004, recommended that
the government fund for community radio should be at a level of around
£30,000 per station to cover core costs and to enable stations to lever in
further funds from other national and local funders.  It is estimated that a
Fund of £10,000,000 would save in the region of £20,000,000 of spending on,
for example young people not in education, employment or training, offender
rehabilitation programmes, and acute health interventions.  The sector also
attracts a large number of volunteers adding an economic value to the sector
of around £25,000,000.

-ends-

For further information please contact Jaqui Devereux on 0114 279 5219 or
email jaqui.devereux@commedia.org.uk

Notes to editors

1.      The Community Media Association (CMA) is the UK membership
association for community media.  Its mission is to enable people to
establish and develop communications media for cultural and creative
expression, community development and entertainment.  The CMA membership
consists of 300 community media organisations plus 300 individuals and
associate organisations. CMA members work throughout the UK in sound and
radio, television, video and new media.  The CMA is located in Sheffield.

2.      Community radio is a third tier of radio distinct from public and
commercial radio.  Community radio stations are locally owned and
accountable to their audience. They operate on public service principles for
community benefit and are non-profit distributing.

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