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Community radio

Community radio studioIf you’re interested in starting up a community radio station – and you live in Wales or south west England – you have a further ten weeks to apply for a licence.

Ofcom began the third wave of community radio licensing at the start of last month.

This latest round of licensing opened after more than 270 individuals and community groups across the UK expressed an interest in starting up a station.

Region by region

Applications for new licences will open on a region by region basis, beginning with Wales and south west England.

There are seven regions in total. Scotland is second in the process, and we anticipate applications opening before the end of 2011.

This will be followed by Northern Ireland in the first half of 2012 and then four English regions – one every six months – that finish with the South East (see table below).

Diverse mix

Community radio stations typically cover a small geographical area with a coverage radius of up to 5km, are run on a not-for-profit basis and reflect a diverse mix of cultures and interests.

To date 228 community radio licences have been issued, with around 11 million people now able to tune into community stations across the UK.

Read more about community radio stations and the application process

Regions and timetable

  Region* Expected date for inviting applications Closing date for applications
1 South west England and Wales Friday 1 April 2011 Thursday 21 July 2011
2 Scotland End of 2011 3 months after opening date
3 Northern Ireland First half 2012 3 months after opening date
4 Northeast England and Cumbria Second half 2012 3 months after opening date
5 Yorkshire and the Humber and the north west of England First half 2013 3 months after opening date
6 West Midlands, East Midlands (including  Lincolnshire) and the east of England Second half 2013 3 months after opening date
7 South east England First half 2014 3 months after opening date

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