Community Radio

Community radio stations broadcast to a small area, normally within a 3 mile (5 km) radius, and are mostly not-for-profit organisations, owned by local people, on which the broadcasters are volunteers.
They are recognized under the Communications Act 2003 as a distinct third tier of radio in the UK.
The community radio movement in the UK was founded in the mid-1970s, broadcasting through Restricted Service Licences, the internet and on cable.


Licensing

ofcomIn order to obtain a community radio license, applicants must demonstrate that the proposed station will meet the needs of a specified target community, together with required “social gain” objectives set out in the application. These usually take the form of a commitment to train local people in broadcasting skills or provide a certain amount of programming aimed at an undeserved section of the population.

A target community can be defined either by geography or by reference to a particular sub-community in an area, otherwise known as a community of interest. A geographic community can be any defined local area, particularly those which would not sustain a fully commercial broadcaster. A community of interest can be any identifiable local community; existing community stations are aimed at groups as diverse as the elderly or youth, religious groups, speakers of languages other than English, lifestyle groups such as gay and transgender and cultural/recreational groups such as artists. While there are exceptions in certain rural areas, community radio stations are usually limited to broadcast areas smaller than commercial or BBC local stations, nominally a 5 kilometre radius of their transmitter.

The normal allocated power for a new community station in an urban area is 25 watts vertically polarised, although most allocations permit the addition of a further 25 watts horizontally polarised. For some rural stations these limits are increased to 50 watts vertical plus 50 watts horizontal.


Funding

radiosilverFollowing pressure from the UK’s Commercial Radio Companies Association, the Community Radio Order 2003 includes varying funding stipulations based on a community station’s proximity to a commercial radio broadcaster.
No community radio station is permitted to raise more than 50% of its operating costs from a single source, including on-air sponsorship and advertising. The remainder of operating costs must be met through other sources. These can include public funding via grants, donor income, National Lottery funding or charities. Regulator Ofcom also makes available an amount of funding annually through its Community Radio Fund. Stations may apply for this money in the same way as other grant funding.

However, where a community radio station lies totally within the transmission area of a commercial station with a population coverage of under 150,000, no sponsorship or advertising may be sought and all funding must come from alternative sources. In a small number of areas where a commercial station covers a population of under 150,000, a community station may not be licensed at all. This is in order to protect the financial interests of smaller commercial stations.


Listen Online

Online streaming has to a large degree solved the restrictions of limited coverage and allowed community stations to broadcast far outside the range of their terrestrial transmitters, giving them a much wider appeal.
Almost all of the community stations listed below offer online streams, most in good quality, unlike many commercial broadcasters, there are no UK only IP restrictions imposed on listeners, giving these community stations a potential worldwide audience.
Do you know of any community stations not listed? Please email details to have them included.

Station
Licence Area
Frequencies
Melton Mowbray, towns and villages within the Vale of Belvoir
103.0 FM
Ten Parishes in Somerset.
105.3 FM
Stevenston, Saltcoats and Ardrossan, North Ayrshire
103.1 FM
Wirral
92.1 FM
Aberdeen Student Radio is the radio station of The University of Aberdeen
Online
Manchester (Ardwick, Ancoats, Longsight)
96.9 FM
Ripley, Derbyshire (Amber Valley)
107.2 FM
Angel Radio (Havant)
Havant, Hampshire
101.1 FM
Angel Radio (Isle of Wight)
Newport, Isle of Wight
91.5 FM
Leeds
107.3 FM
Slough
101.6 FM
Birmingham
89.1 FM
Glasgow
107.2 FM
Stonebridge & Harlesden, Brent in London (RnB & Hip Hop)
103.9 FM
Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.
Licence awarded, April 2016
Lancaster and Morecambe
Online
Midlothian
107.8 FM
Bradford
106.6 FM
Dewsbury
101.8 FM
Isle of Sheppey
95.6 FM
Blaenau Gwent
97.3 FM
Bristol
93.2 FM
Sheffield
103.1 FM
Wrexham
105 FM
Cambridge
105.0 FM
Macclesfield, Bollington, Prestbury, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Poynton (NE Cheshire)
102.8 FM
Tidworth
104.7 FM
Glasgow
1530kHz AM
Mid Cheshire
92.5 FM
Chorley
102.8 FM
Rochdale
97.0 FM
Stoke-on-Trent
101.8 FM
Teeside
107.1 FM
Plymouth
96.3 FM
Canterbury
97.4 FM
Skye and Lochalsh
102.7 FM & 106.2 FM
Nottingham
107.6 FM
Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis
102.8 FM
Downpatrick
105.0 FM
South Craven, Yorkshire
106.9 FM
Dunoon
97.4 FM
Portsmouth & south east Hampshire
93.7 FM
Belfast (Irish language)
107.1 FM
Fever FM (Radio Asian Fever)
Leeds, West Yorkshire (South Asian communities)
Verwood
92.3 FM
Forest of Dean (Gloucestershire)
1521, 1503 (Newent)
Edinburgh Student Radio
Online
Norwich
96.9 FM
Various, see website.
Various
Manchester (Gay community)
tba
Gloucester
96.6 FM
Pontypridd area of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough
106.9 FM
Hailsham in East Sussex
Licence awarded, April 2016
Halton
92.3 FM
Market Harborough
102.3 FM
Hayes,Cranford,Southall, Yeading,West Drayton, Hillingdon
91.8 FM
Bournemouth & Poole (Christian)
90.1 FM
Station for Blind and Partially Sighted Listeners
Online
Ipswich
105.7 FM
Community radio for the Western Isles
103.0 FM
Newry & Mournes
101.4 FM
Birmingham (Urban Radio)
Online
Nottingham (Urban Radio)
97.5 FM
Harlow
1134
Stonebridge, London
103.6 FM mono
Alnwick
107.3
Forest Gate, East London
92.0 FM
Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead
102.5 FM
Fort William, Lochaber, Ballachulish, Glencoe, Skye and Lochalsh
102.3, 102.4, 96.6, 97.0 FM
Oldham
99.7 FM
Oundle, Nottiinghamshire (School Radio)
Usually 96.3 FM
Nelson (Lancashire)
103.1 FM
Penistone
1476
Brentwood
98.0 FM
Halifax
96.7 FM
Exeter
106.8 FM
Herne Bay, Kent
Online
Cardiff
98.7 FM
Hartlepool
102.4 FM
Angus
87.7 FM
Brighton
97.2 FM
Isles of Scilly
107.9 FM
St Austell
105.6 FM
Manor Park, London (Islamic)
Online
St Albans
92.6 FM
Haddenham (Buckinghamshire) and Thame (Oxfordshire)
Licence awarded, April 2016
London
104.4 FM
Cumbernauld (Christian)
100.8 FM
Burnham-on-Crouch
94.7 FM
Salford
94.4 FM
Withernsea & Hornsea
105.3 FM
Sheffield
93.2 FM
Banbridge (Christian)
102.4 FM
Aberdeen
99.8 FM
Lincoln
107.3 FM
Hedge End and Botley & West End
102.5 FM
Tyneside (Asian & World music)
98.8 FM
The Five Valleys, Frome, Nailsworth, Toadsmoor, Slad, Painswick (Gloucest.)
107.9 FM
Govan
103.5 FM
Swindon
105.5 FM
Leicester (Children’s Radio)
103.2 FM
Tameside
103.6 FM
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
106.5 FM & Online
Wetherby
107.4 FM
The Bridge
Stourbridge
102.5 FM
Llandudno
107.8 FM
Bristol (African and Caribbean)
98 FM
Manchester
94.0 FM
Southampton (Asian)
101.1 FM
Birmingham (focusing on the Muslim community)
93.5 FM
Watford (Urban mix of music)
107.6 FM
Vibe FM (Twitter page)
Fermanagh (Northern Ireland)
105.3 FM
Wolverhampton
101.8 FM
West Hull
106.9 FM
Southall, West London (Asian)
89.6 FM
Witney and surrounding villages in Oxfordshire
Licence awarded, April 2016
For people aged 35 and over in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Licence awarded, April 2016
Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester
97.2 FM
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