Community Radio Fund: award of grants for 2008/09 Round 1
Ofcom's Community Radio Fund Panel met on Wednesday 18 June to consider applications for the first round of grant awards for 2008/09. In summary, at the time of the meeting:
- The Department for Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) had allocated £500,000 towards the Community Radio Fund for 2008/09. However, DCMS has recently completed a consultation on the use of a portion of the fund for additional community media projects in 2008/09. Ofcom understands that DCMS will publish a statement on the outcome of this consultation later on this year. Therefore at the time of the meeting the exact amount available to the Panel for the full year was not confirmed. A further £27,500 was available to the Fund Panel following the return of a grant made to Angel Radio (Isle of Wight) in 2006/07.
- 53 applications were considered
- 1 application was not considered
- Funding applications totalled £1,161,611.65
- 18 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £266,600
- 35 applicants were not awarded a grant
First round of applications for funding in 2008/09
The Panel reviewed each application and awarded funding based on the information provided, and with reference to the Community Radio Fund guidance notes. The Panel’s decisions were for:
- a full award;
- a partial award; or
- not to award any funding.
The average grant in this round was £14,811, with a maximum of £17,000.
A table setting out the awards is at the end of this statement.
Issues of note arising from the Panel meeting
The Panel wishes to draw attention to a number of issues that arose during their deliberations:
- The Panel has fixed no upper limit for grant applications but would expect applicants to take note of the history of applications and awards, which is in the public domain, when considering making future applications.
- Owing to the large number of applications the Panel gave priority to those stations which had not previously received an award.
- The Panel took into account the level of need of individual stations. These last two points meant that there were a number of stations which submitted high quality applications to which the Panel was unable to award a grant.
- However, the Panel also noted that a number of applications suffered from a lack of clarity in answering some of the questions, and would remind applicants that, because of the competitive nature of the process, the standard of applications needs to be high.
- The Panel was concerned that, as with previous funding rounds, some applicants appeared to be unaware of the Fund Panel’s priorities as set out in the Panel’s statements and the Fund notes of guidance (for example, in the Fund notes of guidance section 1.2 ‘What is the Fund for?’ and Annex A ‘Exclusions List’).
- Previous fund recipients are required to complete a grant report form; one applicant in this round had not yet returned its grant report form from a previous funding round, therefore the Panel did not consider its application.
The Panel wishes to continue to make grants for core activities, particularly to newly-licensed stations, in line with guidance from DCMS. The Panel considers promoting long-term sustainability a critical, core activity, and will take special note of innovative proposals that have this aim, such as those focusing on business development and fund-raising. The Panel also believes there is scope for more collaborative working or joint applications from stations and was pleased to be able to make an award to one such joint application in this round.
Applications for the first round of funding in 2008/09
- Applications will be invited on 5 November 2008.
- The closing-date for applications will be four weeks later, i.e. 2 December 2008.
- The Panel will meet to make decisions on these applications on 28 January 2009.
- At the time of publication, Ofcom cannot confirm how much money will be available to the Fund during the financial year 2008/09 - as noted above DCMS has recently finished a consultation on the use of part of the Fund for alternative community media projects.
Applicants are eligible to receive funding from only one Community Radio Fund grant round in each financial year, and the Panel will give priority to those applicants who have not received funding in previous years.
Summary of grants awarded in the second round for 2008/09
|3TFM Community Radio for Health||Saltcoats, North Ayrshire||Station Manager||£12,000|
|7Waves Community Radio||The Wirral||Sales & Marketing Executive||£15,000|
|Bristol Community FM||Bristol||Fundraiser||£15,000|
|Celtic Music Radio||Glasgow||Station Manager||£13,200|
|Ipswich Community Radio (ICR)||Ipswich||Station Co-ordinator||£15,350|
|Lionheart Radio||Alnwick||Business Manager||£15,750|
|Phonic FM||Exeter||Station Development Manager||£15,000|
|Radio Dawn & Radio Ikhlas||Nottingham & Derby||Fundraising & Community Engagement Officer||£17,000|
|Sheffield Live||Sheffield||Business Development Manager||£15,000|
|Shine FM||Banbridge, Co. Armagh||Station Manager||£15,000|
|The Bay (Poole)||Poole||Station Manager||£13,000|
|The Bridge||Stourbridge||Station Manager||£16,000|
|Tudno FM||Llandudno||Station Manager||£15,000|
|Unity FM||Birmingham||Fundraising Manager||£15,000|
|Vibe FM||Enniskillen||Funding Co-ordinator||£16,000|
|WHCR||Hull||Public Sector Account Manager||£16,000|