More Choice of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) Radio Stations
With the launch of the Leicester Small-Scale Digital Audio Broadcasting (SSDAB) Multiplex on Sunday 19th March 2023, people living in and travelling through Leicester will have more choice of local radio stations to listen to on DAB.
Dr Rob Watson, Managing Director of Leicester Digital Partnership, the not-for-profit CIC responsible for the new DAB multiplex, says: “To receive these additional services, just rescan your DAB radio and any new services will be listed by their names.”
The first batch of stations to be available are: Kohinoor Radio, Leicester Community Radio, Nishan Radio, Panj Pani, Radio2Funky, Radio Seerah and Ramadan Radio Live.
Leicester Digital Partnership CIC is a collaboration between EAVA FM, Kohinoor Radio, LCR2, Radio2Funky and Takeover Radio. Leicester Digital Partnership CIC were awarded the licence to operate the new digital radio multiplex service for Leicester in November 2022.
Dr Rob Watson say: “Working with our technical partner Maxxwave Ltd, we have been able to commission this service quickly and cost-effectively, and we are looking forward to bringing more choice to radio listeners in Leicester.”
Vijay Mistry, managing director of Radio2Funky says “Leicester is an increasingly diverse and fast changing city, and radio stations that are based in the city, and relevant to the city, will find the DAB platform a great way of reaching out to their audiences. We specialise in promoting new music by young people in Leicester, and to be part of the new DAB platform would be a vote of confidence in their creativity.”
Charan Johal, station manager at Kohinoor Radio, says, “we have a strong track record of serving the Punjabi-speaking community in Leicester. Community radio was an essential lifeline for many people during the pandemic, providing much needed information in ways that our listeners could understand and trust. Anything that supports and improves how people can listen to our radio programmes is welcome.”
Vijay Umaro, station manager of EAVA FM, says “radio plays an essential role in helping people who come to live in Leicester feel that they are welcome. We are proud of the work we do to support people from many different language communities, and new arrivals to the city, to find a place where they can discuss their experiences and share information about what’s happening in their communities.”
Ian Green, station manager of LCR2, says “being able to broadcast on DAB means that we can bring in more volunteers to help make health and wellbeing focussed programmes. The great thing about radio is that it can be made by almost anyone, and we take pride in helping people who do not have a strong voice to be heard, such as those with physical and mental health challenges.”
Richard Perry, senior volunteer at Takeover Radio, says “DAB has the potential to bring new and innovative radio services to Leicester. Our track record of helping children find their voice through radio is a great benefit, not only to them, but to their families, friends, schools and people across the city that hear them. We are looking forward to working with our partners to help put our station on a strong and sustainable footing.”
Des Belle, station manager of Leicester Community Radio says, “while we will give the Small-Scale DAB platform a chance because it is low-cost for us, many of our listeners are not covered by the transmission area, particularly the outskirts of the city, so we will continue to seek additional ways to broadcast to the people who need our services, who are on low incomes across the whole of the Greater Leicester Area.”
Abdurrahim Diwan, director of Radio Seerah says “as a diverse and inclusive full-time Islamic station in Leicester, we are always seeking ways for our listeners to access our programming, on whatever platform is available. Being available on DAB won’t replace our 1575AM service, but it will help many of our listeners keep in contact with their community.”
Akeel Zicar station manager of Ramadan Radio says “offering choice to listeners is important, and empowering people to take part in our radio services, and to serve the broader communities in Leicester, is something we have been dedicated to for many years. Having access to another platform in Leicester is a great way to help more people feel involved.”
Leicester Digital Partnership CIC was awarded the SSDAB licence for Leicester as part of Ofcom’s third licencing round 1.
Leicester Digital Partnership CIC’s social gain objectives are to “carry out media production and distribution services that will benefit communities resident in Leicester and Leicestershire.”
The SSDAB polygon, as advertised by Ofcom, has the smallest geographical coverage area in the UK, and is limited in its scope of coverage, as defined in legislation by the ‘forty-percent rule’. This means that the coverage area is limited to within the Leicester ‘outer ring-road’, and does not extend into the outer neighbourhoods and suburbs that are not directly served by other Leicester-based community radio services.
Ofcom has specific rules about eligibility for C-DSP stations, that they must originate in the service coverage area, and that they must provide a form of social gain for their target community. This is lower than the statutory requirements placed on licensed analogue Community Radio stations, which have an obligation to
EAVA FM is an Ofcom licensed community radio service that broadcasts programmes that are a benefit to all in the community, with a view to giving a balanced output targeted to meeting the needs of all, including non-English speakers and new migrant communities originating from all over the world.2
Kohinoor Radio is an Ofcom licensed community radio service whose mission is to develop a sense of community spirit across multicultural Leicester, and to serve the diverse communities by providing quality entertainment and discussion with a focus on the Punjabi-speaking community.3
LCR2 is an Ofcom licensed community radio service that is talk and music based, with presenters sharing in formation and advice about the health and wellbeing services, and events taking place in Leicester. With roots in hospital radio dating back to 1974, LCR2 encourages access and participation by people with disabilities and other life challenges.
Radio2Funky is an Ofcom licensed community radio service committed to promoting home-grown talent, and the station supports emerging Leicester artists, enabling young people to acquire skills in self-expression, and to find pathways into the radio and music industries.5
Takeover Radio is an Ofcom licensed community radio service that works with the young people of Leicester to produce radio programmes for themselves. Takeover Radio is run by volunteers, and during school time the station is looked after by a team of volunteer adults who then hand the airwaves over young people, especially at the weekends and during school holidays.6
Additional information can be made available via Rob Watson email@example.com +447483359511
1 https://www.ofcom.org.uk/news-centre/2022/apply-for-third-round-ssdab-multiplex-licences provide access, training, a substantial minimum number of hours of self-originated content, and be of relevance to the communities that are being represented.