Department for Culture Media and Sport

community media

We support local news and programming, which helps foster communities and contributes to local economies.

The Office of Communications (Ofcom) is responsible for licensing and regulating community television and radio.

Local television

The Government is committed to decentralising broadcasting to increase localisation. Our goal is for 10 to 20 local TV services, supported by a network channel to be in operation by 2015 with the first local services licensed from summer 2012.

Community radio

Community radio encourages social inclusion, provides local education, training, experience, and wider public access to broadcasting opportunities.

Ofcom is responsible for awarding community radio licences. We contribute about £450,000 a year to the Community Radio Fund.

The Community Radio (Amendment) Order 2010 made three changes to the community radio licensing regime. It: 

  • removed the 50% funding limit from any one source
  • allows a station to be licensed in an area that overlaps with a small commercial service
  • allows licence holders to apply for a one-off renewal of their existing licence of up to five years