During the current public health crisis, community radio can provide a reassuring local voice to millions of people. However, many community stations are facing significant financial challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In response, the government announced £400,000 of emergency cash funding to help stations facing severe financial difficulty to meet the core costs of providing vital programming to local communities.
The Community Radio Fund Panel (‘the Panel’), which is independent from Ofcom in its decision-making, met on Wednesday 27 May 2020 to consider applications for emergency funding grants.
The Panel considered each application and awarded funding based on the information provided, and with reference to the Community Radio Fund (‘the Fund’) guidance notes. For each grant bid, the Panel decided whether to make a full award, a partial award or not to award any funding.
At the meeting:
- 202 applications for grants were considered;
- The funding requested by applicants totalled £1,820,843;
- The total amount available was £406,810;
- 81 applicants – representing nearly one-third of the community radio sector – were awarded grants totalling £333,152; and,
- The grants ranged from £812 to £12,075, with an average of £4,113.
- The Panel awarded as many grants as possible in accordance with the strict eligibility criteria and guidance issued.
Ofcom is, however, inviting applications for a further emergency funding round in approximately six weeks’ time, with a view to awarding the outstanding funds available.
A statement from the Panel explaining the factors they took into account when making their decisions is below. Unsuccessful applicants, who may wish to reapply for funding in the second round, may find this feedback useful. Any further queries can be submitted to Communityradiofund@ofcom.org.uk with an accompanying contact number for a member of the team to call you. We will respond to any queries as quickly as we can, but please note it may take us some time to respond should we receive multiple requests from unsuccessful applicants.
To keep up to date with the next round of Emergency Funding for Community Radio, please visit the Ofcom website.