Licences for 21 community radio stations

Ofcom has awarded 21 new community radio licences, bringing the total number of awarded to date to 84.

New community radio stations include Phoenix FM, Kool AM and Link FM in Essex; NuSound Radio in Forest Gate, London; Voice of Africa Radio in Plaistow, London; Radio Ummah and Zahid Amin in Manor Park, London; Asian Star in Slough; Hayes FM in Middlesex; Westside Community Radio in Southall, Middlesex; Irish FM in Hammersmith, London; Life FM in Stonebridge, north London; Radio Teesdale in County Durham; Wetherby Community Radio in Wetherby; Sheffield Live! and Burngreave Community Radio in Sheffield; Bristol Community FM (BCFM) in Bristol and finally CSR Kent Union in Canterbury.
Community radio licences have also been awarded in Scotland. New arrivals are Garrison FM and Leith FM in Edinburgh, and Black Diamond FM in east and central Midlothian.
The regulator has looked to overcome the shortage of suitable FM frequencies for community radio services in and around London by varying the technical specifications used for the awarded licences. As a result, two of the licences - in Stonebridge in London and Bexleyheath in Kent - are being offered to broadcast in mono on FM instead of stereo. Broadcasting the stations in mono is meant to reduce interference, which could have made the services unviable.

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