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Ofcom awards four new community radio licences

Ofcom has announced the award of four new community radio licences in the south west of England.

Community radio services are provided on a not-for-profit basis and typically cover a small geographical area with a coverage radius of up to 5km.

They can cater for whole communities or for different areas of interest – such as a particular ethnic group, age group or interest group – and reflect a diverse mix of cultures and interests.

The new community radio services are:

Blandford Garrison FM (Blandford Forum, Dorset)

This station will serve all soldiers, their families and MoD civilians living and working within the Army community of Blandford Camp and Blandford Forum.

Bradley Stoke Radio (Bradley Stoke, South Gloucestershire)

Bradley Stoke Radio will broadcast a local community service focussed on serving the tastes and interests of people who live and work in Bradley Stoke, and organisations and businesses that operate in Bradley Stoke.

Radio Sherborne (Sherborne, Dorset)

This station will serve the community of Sherborne and its surrounding parishes with a focus on underserved community members such as young people, home workers, carers and migrant workers for example.

Radio Winchcombe (Winchcombe, Gloucestershire)

Radio Winchcombe will broadcast a local community service for the people of the Cotswold town of Winchcombe and the surrounding villages.

Application process

Ofcom began the third wave of community radio licensing earlier this year and the closing date for applications from south west England and Wales has passed.

The four awards referred to above bring the number of new stations awarded a licence in south west England to seven (and a further three applicants have not been awarded a licence). We hope to award more licences in the new year (we have a further twenty-two applications under consideration).

Ofcom is currently accepting applications for locations in Scotland and the process will then move on to Northern Ireland in the first half of 2012, followed by north east England and Cumbria later that year.

Applications will open for Yorkshire and the Humber and north west England in the first half of 2013, followed by the West Midlands, East Midlands and the east of England in the second half of 2013.

The process will then conclude with south east England in the first half of 2014

Read more about community radio stations and the application process

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