Community Radio Fund: award of grants for 2009/10 Round 2
Ofcom's Community Radio Fund Panel met on Monday 25 January to consider applications for the second round of grant awards for 2009/10. In summary, at the time of the meeting:
- The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) allocated £460,000 towards the Community Radio Fund for 2009/10 (a further £40,000 was allocated by them to other community radio projects).
- In the first round of funding in June 2009, the Panel made grants totalling £233,460. This left £226,540 for this second round.
- 39 applications were considered
- Funding applications totalled £830,330.83
- 14 applicants were awarded grants which totalled £226,532
- 25 applicants were not awarded a grant
Second 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 £16,180. A table setting out the awards is at the end of this statement.
The Panel notes that one grant, for £39,667, was for a substantially higher amount than the average. The Panel wishes to record that this was for a joint application which will fund a Regional Account Manager post benefitting 12 individual community radio stations in the Greater Manchester area. Between them the coverage of these stations includes around two million people.
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 when considering making future applications. This information is in the public domain.
- The Panel took into account the level of need of individual stations. This meant that there were a number of stations which submitted high quality applications to which the Panel was unable to award a grant.
- The Panel noted that a number of applications did not include relevant information such as job descriptions and several applicants were unclear in answering some of the questions. The Panel would remind applicants that, because of the highly competitive nature of the process, the standard of applications needs to be high.
- The Panel was concerned that, as with previous funding rounds, there were applicants who 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').
- Finally, the Panel noted that there were instances where additional potential sources of income may have been overlooked by stations, such as charging for outside broadcast events and PA services.
The Panel wishes to continue to make grants to newly-licensed stations and to fund core activities and those which will improve the sustainability of a station, 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 fund-raising and business development. 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, which will benefit a large number of regional community radio stations, in this round. In assessing the competing needs of stations the Panel has allocated the majority of its funding to new licensees but it is pleased that in this round it has been able to make a number of grants to previous successful applicants.
Applications for the first round of funding in 2010/11
- Applications will be invited in April 2010, with a closing date in May 2010. Dates to be confirmed.
- The Panel will meet to make decisions on these applications on 28 June 2010.
- At the time of publication, Ofcom cannot confirm how much money will be available to the Fund during the financial year 2010/11. Ofcom understands that DCMS will continue to support alternative community media projects and the exact amount to be used in this way in 2010/11 has yet to be confirmed.
- 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 2010/11
|Pure Radio*||Greater Manchester||Regional Account Manager||£39,667.00|
|Bishop FM||County Durham||Station Manager||£18,000.00|
|Blast 106||Belfast||Station Manager||£14,000.00|
|BRO Radio||Barry, Wales||Sales & Fundraising Manager||£15,680.00|
|Burngreave Community Radio||Sheffield||Development Officer||£15,000.00|
|Community Voice FM||Middlesbrough||Fundraising and Marketing Officer||£13,530.00|
|Drystone Radio||Keighley, North Yorkshire||Community Fundraising Development Officer||£16,500.00|
|Flame CCR||Wirral||Programme Manager||£4,940.00|
|Financial resources Manager||£4,940.00|
|Somer Valley FM||Midsomer Norton, Somerset||Fundraiser||£12,760.00|
|BRFM Bridge Radio||Sheerness, Kent||Project Training Manager||£12,300.00|
|Harborough FM||Market Harborough, Leicestershire||Sales & Fundraising Coordinator||£15,000.00|
|Radio Teesdale||County Durham||Fundraising & Community Outreach Officer (p/t)||£12,692.00|
|Saint FM||Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex||Advertising Sales person (p/t)||£11,583.00|
|WCR FM||Wolverhampton, West Midlands||Business Development Officer||£15,000.00|
* The Regional Account Manager post will serve ALL FM, Bolton GM, Crescent Radio, Gaydio, North Manchester FM, Oldham Community Radio, Peach FM, Pure Radio, Salford City Radio, Tameside Radio, Unity Radio and Wythenshawe FM in the Greater Manchester area.