Northern Ireland

NI's first Ulster Scots station, fUSe FM, gets community radio licence

Microphones in radio studio
Image caption The Ulster Scots station has been granted one of five new NI community radio licences by Ofcom

Northern Ireland's first dedicated Ulster Scots radio station is set to go on air after getting approval from the communications regulator.

Ballymoney-based fUSe FM has secured one of five new community radio licences that were awarded by Ofcom.

The regulator has also granted a radio licence to Maghera-based RaidiĆ³ G, the first Irish language station to be run from outside Belfast.

The three other licences were given to Portadown, Larne and Belfast stations.

The three community stations are Bridge FM in Portadown, Chaine FM in Larne and Belfast FM, which is aimed at Belfast citizens aged 55 and over.

'Minority languages'

In its application for a licence, fUSe FM said it would "reflect the traditions, language and culture of Ulster Scots in Ballymoney and surrounding areas".

RaidiĆ³ told Ofcom it would "serve the Irish language community, and those with an interest in Irish language and culture within the broader English-speaking community, in the greater Maghera area in south County Derry".

Community radio stations usually cover a small geographical area and are run on a not-for-profit basis.

There are more than 200 operating across the UK.

Ofcom said that as well as providing "unique content", the stations bring wider benefits to their local communities.

"These include offering training and work experience opportunities and providing a voice to those, such as older people or speakers of minority languages, who may find it harder to access the media," the regulator added.

The five new licences will bring the number of community radio stations in Northern Ireland to 17.