Edition #41 July 2021

Welcome to our bumper summer edition of Community Media News

In Sector News, Ofcom invites applications for second round of the Community Radio Fund and the CMA has been lobbying the government. We also want or hear your single main priority for the sector in the next 12 months.

In Community Updates, five stations share their thoughts on the experience of broadcasting during the pandemic. We also hear about the fund-raising efforts of Radio Verulam, Hot Radio and TD1 Radio, and a mental health radio show and podcast made in collaboration with Source FM.

In Strategy, Policy and Licensing, we have an update on the on the temporary RSL extensions from Ofcom and news of round one of SSDAB licensing. There is also our rolling survey on how the crisis has affected the capacity of community radio stations to progress wiht SSDAB.

In Podcast, Audio & Digital, we share the Radio Garden Impact Survey, there's news on the promotion of a digital radio at John Lewis, free summer jingles from Ignite Jingles, and DEC's Coronavirus Appeal. We also share the findings from Jo Coleman's research into how community radio stations have responded to the lockdown.

In Funding & Awards, we have details of the Charity Survival Fund, a new fund from Comic Relief and the National Emergencies Trust supporting BAME-led projects, this year's Community Radio Awards, the Inspiring Futures programme and Radio Academy 's 30 under 30 awards.

In Events & Training, we announce the launch of the new Local Radio Day website, share a fascinating discussion chaired by UNESCO on community radio in the UK and Ireland, there's a masterclass from Radio TechCon, online business advice workshops from the British Library, media law and compliance with Paul Chantler, and the latest webiners from Audiotrain.

Finally in Tech Corner, we have a handy guide from Chapel FM to running remote radio broadcasts and live interviews, a list of digital resources, and news of Demoji, a free service that helps you create a voice demo for radio or voiceover work.

As usual, there's too much to cram in here so please check out the Chat Forum, our Wiki site for more information and check out our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook) to keep up to date with more news and information.

We have also created a wiki site to try to manage the wealth of information relevant to the current situation such as advice on FundraisingBusiness Continuity, the BBC Local Radio Content Scheme, and other General Information.

Have a story about your community radio station or community media project to share? Email your news, press releases, event details and stories to
Sector News

Community Radio Fund – A Second Chance

Ofcom is inviting applications for a further funding round from the Community Radio Fund from 21st July and will close at 5pm on 3 August 2020 with a view to awarding the outstanding funds available. The total amount available in 2020-21 is £406,810. In the first funding round, the Panel awarded grants totalling £333,152. The second round will award the outstanding funds available: £73,658. Unsuccessful applicants, who may wish to reapply for funding in the second round, may contact Ofcom for some general feedback. Queries can be submitted to with an accompanying contact number for a member of the team to call you.

Community Radio Sector Representation

The CMA has made a number of specific representations to DCMS this year including putting the sector's case directly to the Minister of State in a virtual meeting in April. To that end, the CMA had another conference call with DCMS on Friday 26th June in which we again restated the case to DCMS for more sector support and an increase in funding. CMA members and supporters also sent more than 2,100 messages to Treasury Ministers by 8th July,
DCMS has instructed Ofcom to gather data from applications to the emergency Community Radio Fund to inform the next phase of the Select Committee hearings to be held later in the year - and the emergency Community Radio Fund has yet to complete. The CMA is therefore coordinating with DCMS with regard to the next stage of the Select Committee.
The CMA has kept an open consultation since the start of the pandemic which we have highlighted every week in our Chairman's Letter to CMA members and other channels on the financial impact of COVID-19 and we will continue to gather that data to inform DCMS.
The CMA's letter-writing campaign to MPs conducted over a couple of months definitely raised awareness of the sector with the Secretary and Minister of State - and led to at least 300 downloads of the letter at the last count.
Additionally, the CMA has made a number of approaches to Cabinet Office regarding the issue of paid-for Government public service announcements on community radio and we hope to be able to share some good news in that regard in the future.

Notes from the CMA's last virtual meeting with Ofcom were posted to the Chat Forum.

Community Media Looking Ahead - What's Your Priority?

The Community Media Association is finalising a new policy document looking ahead to how community media can be supported and utilised by Government to help rebuild the UK.

We would like to hear your single main priority for community radio and community media in the next 12 months. Please give us your suggestions here:
Community Updates

Temporary Covid-19 Broadcasts on Community Radio

Five stations share their thoughts on the experience of broadcasting during the pandemic, the challenges and unexpected obstacles and how the experience is shaping their plans for the future. Read the article here

Queen approves of Radio Verulam Going Radio Ga Ga!

Volunteers and listeners of Radio Verulam demonstrate the importance of the St Albans community radio station staying on air during the COVID-19 lockdown with a cover of Radio Ga Ga - for which the station had to get permission from rock legends Queen! Radio Verulam has been broadcasting locally from St Albans for 13 years on 92.6 FM and is currently working with a range of third sector organisations and local businesses. Visit their fundraising page here.

Harry Redknapp Puts One in the Back of the Net for Hot Radio!

Hot Radio, currently broadcasting to Poole and Bournemouth (and the wider Dorset area shortly), would like to say a huge thank you to Harry Redknapp (Facebook link) for supporting their fundraising campaign. Hot Radio has been working very hard to provide their local community with outstanding output, great music, and a real sense of togetherness. In the current climate of uncertainty and change, Hot Radio is asking their listeners and community for support via this fundraising link. The station is now available on DAB+ in crystal clear stereo all over Portsmouth, Gosport and even Fareham. And shortly Hot Radio / Dorset Community Radio will be heard throughout Dorset as well on the local multiplex.

Borders Radio Station Raises Funds with Marathon Broadcast

Photo: TD1 presenters Andy Hood
Galashiels community radio station TD1 Radio rasied some much needed funds last month by broadcasting for 30 hours non-stop! TD1’s director and station manager Jim Keddie says the £1,600 raised will cover three months of costs to run the community radio station based in the borders of Scotland.

Mr Keddie said: "We lost all our advertising revenue due to COVID-19 and had to cancel our 80s themed party night so we lost around 25 per cent of our annual income."

The live lockdown "radiothon" was run by the station's team of volunteers, all working from home. TD1 has also benefited from a Scottish Borders Council (SBC) crisis grant.

Established in 2008, the station relies on donations, sponsorship and advertising revenue, according to Mr Keddie who said: "We plan to increase our sponsorship and advertising revenue if possible, and commission a second transmitter on 105.0 Mhz to increase our potential audience to 25,000 to include Selkirk,Tweedbank, Melrose and Langlee" adding "Commercial operators and the BBC are making lots of cuts to local radio and the community radio sector is the only one left to fill the gap."

The station now has 34 presenters presenting shows from home for the schedule – many with live shows,” Mr. Keddie said "Our schedule has never been so complete."

To listen, you can tune in to 106.5FM – or visit:

Opening Up the Conversation with Space to Speak Your Mind

A Space To Speak Your Mind Mental Health Radio Show and Podcast
A Space to Speak Your Mind is a mental health radio show and podcast made in collaboration with community radio station Source FM and mental health charity Cornwall Mind with support from Cornwall Rural Community Charity.

Each month the show creates content around different topics in mental health and keeps people up to date with the latest resources and news about mental health in Cornwall. The team of volunteers all have personal experience of mental health issues.

You can listen to the podcast version of the show here or catch the live shows on Source FM 96.1 on the first Thursday of every month at 2PM.

To support the show going forward long term, make a donation to their crowdfunder here

Temporary COVID-19 RSL Broadcasts Extended

Temporary radio stations providing news and information about the coronavirus pandemic to local communities will remain on air after Ofcom confirmed it can extend the temporary licences. Ofcom introduced a new “short-term restricted service licence” at the start of lockdown. The licences were awarded to stations to broadcast temporarily during the pandemic. In consultation with the licence-holders, Ofcom is extending the term of their licences to 5 September 2020. New applications for Temporary Covid-19 radio licences are still being accepted. For more information click here.

Small-Scale DAB Licensing – chocks away!

Ofcom announced that they plan to advertise the first (‘Round One’) small-scale radio multiplex licences on Tuesday 1 September 2020. This will also be the date from which applicants will be able to apply for a Community Digital Sound Programme (‘C-DSP’) licence to broadcast a C-DSP service on any of the multiplex services for which licences are being advertised in Round One. More details and the areas to be licensed here.

COVID-19 & the Financial Impact on SSDAB Licence Applications

The CMA would like to know how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the capacity of community radio stations to apply for a licence on the new small-scale DAB (SSDAB) and whether financial assistance from the Government would help improve the level of engagement with SSDAB. The survey is very short - just 4 questions and takes about 2 minutes.
Podcast, Audio & Digital

Radio Garden Impact Survey

Dr Rachel Ramsey and Dr Caroline Mitchell (University of Sunderland) are investigating the impact of the platform. They are seeking the input and views of community radio stations via a short survey, here. Your participation is optional but will be sincerely appreciated. For questions about the survey, contact Rachel:

Radio's Digital Revolution Comes to John Lewis & Partners

Radio’s digital revolution has come to John Lewis & Partners with the launch of a brand new micro-site on celebrating today’s digital radio content offering and designed to help consumers understand and navigate the range of audio devices for radio listening currently available.

The micro-site, which is themed Radio’s Digital Revolution, is the first execution of a wider campaign which Digital Radio UK has developed to roll out for retailers and manufacturers to help communicate the great live and on demand radio content currently available to consumers from the UK’s radio and audio broadcasters.

Free Summer Jingles

UK jingle company Ignite Jingles has created a package of summer jingles and beds that are free to use for all stations.  The kit includes summer sings and tracks of different lengths, plus accapella sings and instrumental beds, all covered under a station’s existing royalty agreements. Ignite owner Chris Stevens said: “It’s been a tough year so far, so we wanted to share something to lift the summer of 2020. We’re excited to hear how stations use these jingles!” The mixes can be downloaded here.
The Disaster Emergency Committee's broadcast partners, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, and others are supporting the DEC Coronavirus Appeal. Community radio stations, hospital radio, prison radio, and Internet radio stations may all participate in the Appeal. Complete the form here to access the media assets for broadcast.

Community Radio Research

CMA member, Jo Coleman, has completed her research into how community radio stations in the UK responded to the changing circumstances caused by the lockdown. Station and operations directors, programme controllers, studio and volunteer managers were consulted by way of a survey on what steps they took to sustain their broadcast output.

The findings illustrate, through the information gathered and insights shared by the respondents, the wealth of technical know-how across the sector, and the passion and sense of commitment felt towards the stations and their local communities. They also reveal some inequalities and aspects of community broadcasting where teams are struggling. Read more here.
Investors in Community has joined forces with LLR Media (Love Local Radio Media) to form a new partnership that will build on the great relationships charities have with community radio stations across the UK.
The two organisations are working together to encourage collaboration between charities, businesses and radio stations, promoting their work in local areas, sharing stories of those they are helping and to launch much-needed fundraising appeals and revenue opportunities. The ultimate aim is to build more connections between charities and local businesses. More here.
Funding & Awards

Charity Survival Fund

The Julia & Hans Rausing Trust has committed £10million to help charities that have lost income. It is fund is open to UK registered charities that operate across one of the areas of:
  • health and well-being
  • welfare and education
  • arts and culture
Grant size varies according to your income: up to £5,000 for groups with an income up to £20,000, rising to £250,000 for those with an income above £1/2million. The deadline is 27th July 2020. Full details here.

Comic Relief – Support By and For BAME-led Organisations and Causes

Comic Relief and the National Emergencies Trust have teamed up to provide a new fund of £3.4 million to support BAME-focused projects across the UK. 10 BAME-led organisations will receive amounts between £275,00 and £440,000 to distribute to projects based on their own funding criteria. Applicants can apply directly to these organisations – which include ImKaan, Next Step Initiative, and BAWSO - for funding from mid-July.

2020 Community Radio Awards – you’ve got to be in it to win it!

The 2020 Community Radio Awards are now open and will close at 5pm on 31st July 2020. Volunteers and stations from up and down the country are urged to enter the best of their output from the past year, and consider those team members deserving of special recognition. Head over to the submission site and follow the instructions to submit your entries either as a station or as an individual from a station.
The Awards have gathered some of their 2019 Gold winners to share their thoughts on what winning a Community Radio Award means to them, and they give their tips on how to get nominated too. You can find videos on the YouTube channel.

Children In Need: Inspiring Futures

The Inspiring Futures programme is now open for applications until 11:30am on Friday 31st July, 2020. Eligible organisations will be able to apply for between £10,000 and £80,000 for work commencing in October 2020. BBC Children in Need and Youth Futures Foundation are partnering to deliver Inspiring Futures, a £6 million programme to fund positive activities which support children and young people to achieve their potential on their journey towards employment. The COVID-19 pandemic is heightening existing challenges for children and young people looking to access further education, training, and work.
More details here.

Radio Academy 30 Under 30

Are you under 30 and in the audio and radio industry?  The Radio Academy is now welcoming entries for the ReelWorld Radio Academy 30 Under 30.  You can nominate yourself, or be nominated. You have until midnight on Sunday 2nd August. Enter here.
Events & Training

The Local Radio Day website is now live and the Community Media Association is one of the partner organisations. The theme for this year is "Community making waves: turning the tide on isolation". The day, organised by Local Radio Alliance since 2019, is an occasion to not only celebrate but also strengthen the connections that local radio brings – to communities, to industry professionals, and to individuals. Local Radio Day was created in 2015 by UKRD and brings together local stations on a national level.

Global Dialogues 3 - Beyond the Noise in UK and Ireland

On 3rd July, the UNESCO Chair on Community Media hosted a fascinating discussion on community radio in the UK and  Ireland as part of the Chair's #GlobalDialogues on Community Media in the Post-Pandemic World. The discussion featured @community_media, @CRAOL, @AMARCnews, and @amarceuropa. Watch the video here.

Radio TechCon: Introduction to Broadcast Engineering

Radio TechCon is the UK Radio and audio industry's technical and engineering event. But what if you are new to broadcast engineering and want an overview of the basics? This page is the place to start, with their virtual 'Radio Technology Masterclass - an introduction to broadcast engineering'.

British Library Business & IP Centre

The British Library has an impressive range of online workshops and events around business advice and development. View their programme here.

Media Law & Compliance Training with Paul Chantler

Radio guru, Paul Chantler, can now deliver his popular Media Law & Compliance training course online via Zoom for you and your team. He’s already sorted out 100 volunteers at Riverside Radio - and he covers all you need to know to stay legally and Ofcom safe! Discounts are available for members of the Community Media Association - message him via Twitter for details. Additionally, there’s a new video here from the Online Radio School on “Libel: The Number One Tip for All Radio DJs & Podcasters”.

Audiotrain Webinars

Audiotrain has moved its masterclasses and courses online and is offering some webinars for freelance audio specialists in podcast and programme making.  The webinars are free, but voluntary donations are welcome.

The latest webinar “How to Turn Your Podcast into a Flash Briefing (and why would you want to?)” which will be uploaded to their site shortly.

Previous webinars may be viewed here:
Tech Corner

Remote Radio Station from Chapel FM Arts Centre

Like many organisations early 2020 has been a trying time and has forced many people to work from home. Chapel FM Arts Centre has also faced these challenges but being a radio station there are a few things that they had to do so that they could still broadcast. This handy guide provided by one of their key volunteers Phil Driscoll will help you on this path if you also wish to run remote radio broadcasts or to do live interviews.

Conquer the Tech Jungle with the Charity Catalogue

A few CMA members have got in touch to ask about where to find details of all sorts of digital goodies - donation platforms, project management tools, form builders etc. This resource (nothing to do with us) is still under development but may be a helpful place to start. Take a look – and it’s not just for charities.


Demoji is a free service that helps you create a voice demo for radio or voiceover work. Upload 3-5 example audio clips you're proud of and some information about yourself. Once you have submitted all of the audio and information, you will receive free advice on which links to include and a suggested running order for a final demo.

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