Cornwall

Ofcom launches more community radio licences

Ofcom has launched the next round of licence applications for community radio in the South West.

In Cornwall there are already small radio stations broadcasting on Scilly; across Falmouth and Penryn; in the St Austell area and north Cornwall.

A new community station has just started in Redruth.

Devon also has stations broadcasting in Exeter, Barnstaple, Dartington and Totnes. In the last six years, 228 licences have been issued in the UK.

Ofcom said community radio stations reach a potential audience of 11m people in the UK.

Radio enthusiasts on the Roseland in mid-Cornwall are hoping they will be one of the successful applicants.

'Different service'

One of the supporters of the project, Gareth Hill, does not believe their plans would hurt more established broadcasters like BBC Radio Cornwall.

He said: "I think we'd be operating at a different kind of level. We'd be saying to people we're down the street, as opposed to Radio Cornwall which is across the county."

Penwith Radio has been broadcasting from its west Cornwall base over the internet for two years.

The station manager, Alan Jones said an FM licence would add to their appeal.

"If and when we get FM licensing we won't let go of our internet stream. So we can still maintain our overseas outward looking focus, as well as bringing our local community focus to a more sharper point."

Soo Williams, Ofcom's community radio manager, said: "They draw communities together. They are very much focussed on the people they serve.

"These stations are often run by volunteers so they're bringing quite a different service than you get from the BBC and commercial stations."

The closing date for applications is Thursday 21 July 2011.

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