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Salvatore Scifo <[log in to unmask]>
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Salvatore Scifo <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 9 Mar 2009 11:49:02 +0200
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---Apologies for cross-posting---


Executive Summary at: 
Full report (pdf, 386kb): 

Communities are the radio stars

More than 8 million people are now able to tune into community radio 
stations and demand is still high for licences, Ofcom’s first Annual 
Report of Community Radio reveals.
Over 130 community stations are now broadcasting across the UK, with 
another 50 preparing to launch.
These not-for-profit radio stations cover small geographical areas and 
each typically provides 81 hours of original and distinctive output a 
week – mostly locally produced.
Community radio licensing was introduced by Ofcom and the first licence 
was awarded in March 2005.

Rich content
Community radio stations reflect the variety of cultures, demographics 
and tastes in the UK.
For example, there are stations catering for urban music fans (New 
Style, Birmingham) experimental music aficionados (Resonance FM, London) 
younger people (CSR, Canterbury), the Armed Forces and their families 
(Edinburgh Garrison FM) and religious communities (Cross Rhythms, 
In total, 41% of stations are aimed at general audiences in town or 
rural communities, 18% broadcast to general audiences in urban areas, 
but a significant proportion target specific groups such as young people 
(17%), minority ethnic groups (14%) or military communities (5%).

Wide social benefits
The Community Radio Annual Report also reveals that, on average, each 
station operates with 74 volunteers who together give around 214 hours 
of their time a week. Across the sector this represents over 100,000 
volunteer hours a month.
In fulfilling their wider requirements to deliver social gain to their 
communities, each station are also required to provide training and 
For example, in the year to April 2008 Bang Radio, broadcasting in west 
London, delivered broadcast training to over 230 young people, and 
continues to offer further work placements to local school and college 
Similarly, Wolverhampton’s WCR Radio provided accredited training to 49 
of its 190 volunteers – 44 of whom now hold a qualification in radio 

Funding community radio
The typical income of a community radio station is £66,500 pa – yet for 
some stations this is as little as £6,000.
The Report has established that a community radio station’s income is 
primarily generated through grants (45%), donations (12%) and in the 
growing area of service contracts with local authorities (11%). Across 
the board, on-air advertising represents 18% of total income.
Peter Davies, Ofcom’s Director of Radio Policy, said:
“Community radio is a real success story. It delivers rich and varied 
content to listeners and provides additional benefits through community 
involvement and training.
“Our Community Radio Annual Report reveals that, in just over three 
years, 130 stations have sprung up across the length and breadth of the 
UK. They reach many communities: from rural to inner city areas and 
serving diverse audiences with content ranging from religion, 
experimental music to RnB.”
“We are delighted that interest from those wishing to run such stations 
for their own communities remains high.”

Those connected to and working within the sector:
WCR’s (Wolverhampton) Zac Morris, 31, a former soldier currently seeking 
work said:
“Before I joined WCR I had no knowledge of all the technical aspects 
involved in radio.
“Now I can operate a studio, take interviews and I was broadcasting live 
on-air after receiving my training.”

Ian Wallace, Director of Gaydio based in Manchester, which is preparing 
to launch said:
“There’s a real excitement in Manchester’s gay community about the 
launch of Gaydio.
“As well as working with a great team of people we will also be reaching 
out to those people who do not currently have a lot of contact with the 
LGBT community, which can only be a win–win for everyone in Manchester.”

Jonathan Bellamy who runs Cross Rhythms FM, a Christian radio station 
based in Stoke, said:
“We have been thrilled at how well we have been received by local 
Christians but also by those without a faith. In particular, our unique 
music playlist mix of rock, pop, hip hop and R&B by Christian artists 
has proved a real hit.
“Our community focussed programming has included features on Media 
Action for Mental Health, Safer Cities Partnership, ADSiS (Alcohol and 
Drug Services in Staffordshire) and many, many others.”

Mark Page, who produces programming for a number of Army stations, said:
“Army audiences and their families, as well as civilians who live in the 
local area really value our output.
“Listeners of Community Radio with a military focus regularly hear from 
our boys and girls deployed in war zones - it is such a great feeling to 
know our programming gives such comfort to those who tune in and that it 
also provides real links with those outside bases.”

The full report can be found here: 


1. Community Radio stations are different to local commercial radio 
stations; they are not-for-profit and must deliver social gain. They 
were created with the Community Radio Order 2004
2. Each community radio station that has been broadcasting for more than 
a year is required to complete an annual report.
3. For the period May 07 – Apr 08 Ofcom received reports from 67 stations.
4. A full list of community radio stations can be found here: