Ofcom has awarded five community radio licences in April 2016. The licences are for services in the south east England region (outside the M25).
Ofcom has made a licence award to each of the following:
Red Kite Radio (Red Kite Radio and Media Limited), Haddenham (Buckinghamshire) and Thame (Oxfordshire)
Red Kite Radio will be for the people of Haddenham and Thame, with a service featuring community voices provided via the station’s open access approach to speech content. Ofcom considered that the applicant’s proposed output, with its focus on Haddenham and Thame community news and features, and the inclusion of local voices as described above, would broaden the range of output available in this area.
Wycombe Sound (Wycombe Community Radio CIC), High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Wycombe Sound is for people aged 35 and over in High Wycombe. Ofcom was satisfied that the applicant had demonstrated its ability to maintain its proposed service. It had operated the station as a temporary FM service; and group members had relevant experience in broadcasting, further education and local business, as well as links with a number of local organisations.
Witney Radio (Witney Media CIC), Witney, Oxfordshire
Witney Radio will serve the community of Witney and surrounding villages, with a locally-focused service including local news, as well as information about life in Witney. Ofcom thought that such a service would be distinctive and broaden radio choice in the area.
Hailsham FM (Hailsham FM Ltd), Hailsham, East Sussex
Hailsham FM will be a service for the whole community in Hailsham, an area which is not the sole editorial focus of any existing radio services. Ofcom felt that group members had useful relevant experience in a range of fields including small business, training, music, radio broadcasting and sound engineering, and that the applicant had presented a sound business plan for a relatively low-cost service. As a result Ofcom considered that it had the ability to maintain the service.
Bexhill FM (Rother Media), Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex
Bexhill FM will provide a service for the community of Bexhill-on-Sea. The applicant has strong links to Bexhill Academy, with which it will continue to work, for example, in devising a programme to provide training. Ofcom was satisfied that the applicant had demonstrated its ability to maintain the proposed service – it had operated temporary radio services in Bexhill, developed links with local organisations and businesses (both of which will be promoted on-air), and has studio premises in place.
These services will be licensed for a period of five years from the date of their launch. All five services will be licensed to broadcast on FM.
Ofcom was satisfied that the new services would not prejudice unduly the economic viability of any other local analogue commercial radio service (section 105(3) of the BA 1990).