Community Radio Fund: award of grants for 2010/11 Round 2
Ofcom's Community Radio Fund Panel met on Monday 24 January 2011 to consider applications for the second round of grant awards for 2010/11. In summary:
- The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) allocated £463,000 towards the Community Radio Fund for 2010/11
- In the first round of funding in June 2010, the Panel made grants totalling £208,634,leaving £254,366 for the second round
- A further £2,500 was returned to the fund from a previous grant recipient
- 64 applications were considered
- Funding applications totalled £1,196,138.46
- 15 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £256,866
- 49 applicants were not awarded a grant
Second round of applications for funding in 2010/11
The average grant in this round was £17,124; the average grant for individual station awards, that is excluding the grants benefitting more than one station, was £14,833. A table setting out the awards is at the end of this statement.
The Panel notes that two grants, for £30,769 and £30,768 respectively, were for substantially higher amounts than the average and were awarded to bids designed to benefit more than one station. The Panel wishes to record that the first of these grants was for a joint application that will fund a Project Manager and other support for a pilot data collection and analysis project. The project aims to develop an affordable way for UK community radio stations to assess their audiences and community impacts and provide data for grant funders, service delivery clients and others. The aim is for a project that will benefit all community radio stations in the future. The second of these grants was for a Regional Account Manager /Commercial Fund Raiser post benefitting three individual community radio stations in south west England.
Issues of note arising from the Panel meeting
In the current financial climate the Panel feels strongly that it is important that, as much as possible, grants from the Community Radio Fund should help further a stations future sustainability and financial stability. Even though the Panel will consider grants for posts that support community outreach or volunteer support, for example, (and the Panel recognises that these are core station functions) it favours, as stated in our guidance notes, applications that focus on posts that will promote long-term sustainability.
With regard to the applications the Panel considered in this funding round, it would like to make the following points:
- A grant from the Fund for new stations is not a foregone conclusion, and applicants need to make their case sufficiently well for the Panel to be confident that a grant will be well spent and will enhance the future viability and sustainability of the station.
- Some applicants did not include job descriptions in their submissions for staff funding (question four of the grant application specifies that this is a requirement). The Panel uses this information to consider whether the job description of the post to be filled corresponds with the outline description given in an application.
- The Panel would like to remind applicants to take due note of the published guidance as well as the notes included within the application form when completing applications. A number of applications in this round sought funding for items that the Panel considers ineligible. This included, for example, applications for equipment costs, publicity costs, website costs and funding for journalists. The Panel would like to remind applicants to have regard to the list of exclusions that the Fund will not support. This is listed in Annex A of the Community Radio Fund Guidance Notes. (http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/broadcast/radio-ops/guidancenotes220910.pdf)
- Lastly, the Panel would like to emphasise to previous grant recipients how important the feedback is from previous grant spends and that this information forms part of the decision-making process (see grant application form, and separately in the grant report form).
The Community Radio Fund continues to attract a high number of applicants and the Panel feels strongly that the Fund should continue to fund core activities and those which will improve the sustainability of a station, such as income generation. The Panel considers promoting long-term sustainability a critical, core activity, and will continue to take note of proposals with this aim and those focusing on fund-raising and business development. The Panel continues to believe there is scope for collaborative working or joint applications from stations.
Finally, the Panel will continue to give priority to considering applications from stations that have not received funding in previous years (mostly new stations). However, the Panel notes that in the next financial year (i.e. from April 2011) it expects there may be fewer such applications. The Panel is happy to consider applications to the Fund from previous grant recipients.
Applications for the first round of funding in 2011/12
- Applications will be invited in April 2011, with a closing date in May 2011. Dates to be confirmed.
- The Panel will meet to make decisions on these applications on 13 June 2011.
- Ofcom is pleased to confirm that DCMS has stated that the Community Radio Fund will continue to be funded by the department up to and including 2014/15. In the next round of funding, for the financial year 2011/12, DCMS has allocated £462,000 to the Fund.
- Funding for the next three financial years is as follows: £448,000 for 2012/13, £436,000 for 2013/14 and £430,000 for 2014/15.
Summary of grants awarded in the second round for 2010/11
|ALL FM||Manchester||Pilot audience/community data collection and analysis project (Project Manager and support functions)||£30,769|
|BCFM (with Somer Valley FM and Glastonbury FM)||Bristol (Midsomer Norton and Glastonbury)||Regional Account Manager /Commercial Fund Raiser Sponsorship and Advertising||£30,768|
|Betar Bangla||Stratford, east London||Fundraiser/Income Development (p/t)||£14,400|
|Canalside Community Radio||Bollington, Cheshire||Fundraiser||£15,000|
|Inspiration FM||Northampton||Development Worker (p/t)||£14,118|
|Leith FM||Leith||Business Development Manager (p/t)||£16,084|
|NE1 FM||Newcastle upon Tyne||Business Development Officer (p/t)||£8,446|
|Raaj FM||Sandwell||Station Sustainability Manager (p/t)||£15,548|
|RadioReverb||Brighton||Fundraising and Development Officer (p/t)||£17,500|
|Seahaven FM||Newhaven||Commercial Manager||£12,500|
|Soundart Radio||Totnes||Business and Community Development post (p/t)||£13,500|
|Spice FM||Newcastle upon Tyne||Fundraiser and Marketing Officer||£16,705|
|Sunny Govan Radio||Govan||Business Development Officer||£18,970|
|Uckfield FM||Uckfield||Business Development Manager||£16,371|
|Unity Radio||Manchester||Business Development Manager||£16,187|