Survey launched on the future of community radio in the UK

The Community Media Association and UK Community Radio Network have joined forces to launch a joint survey for the future of analogue Community Radio Licensing.

The survey can be found here and is open until 5pm on Monday the 8th of January 2024

Views are welcome from existing licences, those wanting an analogue (FM/AM) community radio licence, as well as from individuals, academics, other radio stations and anyone with an interest in the sector.

Terry Lee, Chair of the CMA said; “Community Radio in the UK has been evolving rapidly since I first got involved in 2005. This consultation is an opportunity for stations and stakeholders to have their say on future legislation. This is important – this is about Government decisions on the way we do radio in the future. I’m very pleased the CMA are working with the UKCRN to survey the sector. This will mean we can create a united, informed response to the consultation.”

Martin Steers, Co-Founder & Director of the UKCRN said “When it comes to Government legislation we are one sector, and while there are many different forms of Community Radio across the UK, and many different opinions on how to run Community Radio stations and deliver social gain for our community, we need a joint voice with Government on the future of the sector, I am pleased we are both working together on a join approach to the sector on this important matter.”

The survey replicates the questions asked by the DCMS so that the organisations can work together with a wide range of submissions for a joint response on behalf of the whole Community Radio sector. In addition to the DCMS questions, they are also asking questions in relation to the provision of social gain and key commitments which form a part of the legislation and how Community Radio stations operate and are held to account by Ofcom.

The organisations are asking all stations to complete their survey and aim to release their joint response before the end of January and the deadline of the DCMS consultation, they are also encouraging stations to submit their own submissions and will be welcome to reference or use their joint submission as part of their own submissions.

The consultation by the DCMS will then lead to the drafting of a new Community Radio order which will outline how the future of licencing of analogue Community Radio will operate. This will need to be passed by the Government before October 2025 to prevent the possibility of Community Radio licences expiring, with the oldest running Community Radio station The Eye in Melton Mowbray currently licenced until the 31st of October 2025.