Bedford, Coventry and Swansea DAB multiplex licences awarded

Ofcom has announced the winners of the small-scale DAB multiplex licenses for Bedford, Coventry and Swansea.

They go to In2DAB Limited (Bedford), Coventry Community Digital Radio CIC (formerly Spark FM Limited) and Swansea DAB Limited.

Bedford attracted three applications, from Bedford Digital Ltd (Bedford Broadcasting/Tony Dibbin, Chris Greg and Ian Hickling), Bedford Digital Radio CIC (Home Counties Community Media CIC, Black Cat Radio, University of Bedfordshire and Bedfordshire Health Radio) and In2DAB Ltd.

In2DAB Ltd is made up of In2Beats, Mark Davis, Jonathan Cohen, UK DAB Networks and Like Futures. It proposed 17 radio stations at launch.

Coventry also attracted three applications from Coventry DAB Ltd (Radio Panj Ltd, Niocast Digital Ltd and Chris Hurst), Coventry Digital Broadcasting Ltd (Like Futures Limited, UK DAB Networks, RadioFinity Ltd and SubDigital Limited) and Spark FM Ltd.

Spark FM, now known as Coventry Community Digital Radio CIC, is made up of Coventry and Warwickshire Media Community Ltd, Radio Plus, Vanny Radio together with Maxwave Radio Communications, and Decentred Media. It will be Chaired by Stuart Linnell MBE.

Eleven radio stations are proposed to join the multiplex from launch.

Swansea was a two-horse race between On DAB Limited (Leigh Jones and Andrew Griffiths) and Swansea DAB Ltd.

Swansea DAB is made up of Like Futures Ltd, UK DAB Networks and Depot Swansea Ltd and proposed 18 services in its application.


Stuart Linnell, Chairman of Coventry Community Digital Radio CIC told RadioToday: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the new Coventry DAB Multiplex license by OFCOM. This is a very exciting moment for Community Radio here in Coventry. Expanding local DAB services within the City will enable all of our community stations to continue to develop their broadcasting services, grow their audiences and support the local communities which they serve.”

Simon McAusland, Chief Executive of Radio Plus says “Following on from our highly successful year as The UK’s City of Culture, our team were inspired to create an entirely new approach to Small Scale DAB for Community Radio here in Coventry. Having worked closely with our colleagues from the other local community stations throughout the City’s year as City of Culture, our objective is to build on these relationships and create a new and sustainable community radio partnership, that is mandated to act in the best interests of all of the community radio services based here in Coventry, and to ensure that these stations can enjoy free access to local DAB broadcasting for the entire life of the license.

“As more and more people are now listening to radio via digital platforms, it’s vital that Community Radio doesn’t get left behind. With the introduction of these new Small Scale DAB Multiplex Licenses, Ofcom has shown that they recognise, understand, and are addressing many of the challenges that community radio stations face.

“If successful, we hope that our new community-owned multiplex model could become a blueprint for future licenses.”

On the wins in Swansea and Oxford, Ash Elford of UK DAB Networks said on Friday: “Today is the 7th anniversary of the launch of the Portsmouth small scale DAB multiplexe, so naturally today’s news is extra special.

“I am delighted that Ofcom awarded the Swansea and Bedford small scale DAB multiplexes to applicantions involving UK DAB Networks.

“Swansea DAB Ltd will make available some much needed capacity for local and independent broadcasters in an area otherwise flooded with Bauer DAB services on the existing local multiplex. It was pleasing to see Ofcom acknowledged our coverage proposal as being a factor in the licence award.

“In2DAB’s plans for Bedford will provide an affordable route to digital radio to the Bedford area. Ofcom acknowledged the strength of our proposed service line up.

“Of course, for stations involved in other applications, we will be fair in contracting for capacity for these services in Swansea and Bedford.”