Rival bid for Sheffield & Rotherham DAB announced

A second consortium has announced plans to apply for the Sheffield and Rotherham Small Scale DAB multiplex.

Community radio stations Link FM and Sheffield Live! have joined forces with Sheffield Community Media to establish Shefcast Digital as a social enterprise.

The founding partners are inviting others to get involved in the project which they say could bring over 20 new digital radio stations to the airwaves.

The initiative is supported by Sheffield-based media development agency, CM Solutions, and by the national Community Media Association, which has its headquarters in Sheffield.

Shahid Ali of Link FM said: “Over the last few months we have seen how important radio is to keeping people informed and in touch, with a significant increase in listeners during lockdown. We are excited to be working with Sheffield Live! on a project to make community radio available to digital radio audiences and to support new local and community radio initiatives.

Sangita Basudev of Sheffield Live! said: “DAB is set to be our next big adventure with the chance not only to bring Sheffield Live! onto DAB but opportunities to develop a new tier of local and community radio services that cater for underserved interests and communities. We are delighted to be joining forces with Link FM to enable a new generation of local and community media.”

Steve Buckley of Sheffield Community Media said: “Not only is this an opportunity to expand the reach of Sheffield’s established community radio stations, we aim also to work with locally-based internet radio stations and radio start-ups to increase the range and diversity of services available.”

Bill Best, Operations Manager at the Community Media Association, said “The CMA welcomes this community-led initiative into digital radio broadcasting. We wish the Shefcast consortium the best of luck with their proposal and we look forward to seeing more community-based entrants onto the small-scale DAB platform”.

Anyone interested in getting involved is invited to connect with Shefcast Digital via shefcast.org/connect or by writing to info@shefcast.org

Earlier this month RadioToday reported on another bidder for the DAB licence – Sheffield & Rotherham DAB Ltd. has been formed by Asian Radio Live, Penistone FM 95.7, Dee Radio Group and Infocus Digital Media, the digital arm of Sunrise Radio, with the support of Niocast.