A group of local and community media organisations have come together with an ambitious plan to expand choice for radio listeners tuning to digital radio in Sheffield and Rotherham.
Community radio stations Link FM and Sheffield Live! have joined forces with Sheffield Community Media to establish a new digital audio broadcasting network. The joint venture, Shefcast Digital, has been set up to operate as a social enterprise. The founding partners are inviting others to get involved in the project which could bring over 20 new digital radio stations to the airwaves.
Shahid Ali of Link FM said: “Over the last few months we have seen how important radio is to keeping people informed and in touch, with a significant increase in listeners during lockdown. We are excited to be working with Sheffield Live! on a project to make community radio available to digital radio audiences and to support new local and community radio initiatives.
Sangita Basudev of Sheffield Live! said: “DAB is set to be our next big adventure with the chance not only to bring Sheffield Live! onto DAB but opportunities to develop a new tier of local and community radio services that cater for underserved interests and communities. We are delighted to be joining forces with Link FM to enable a new generation of local and community media.”
Steve Buckley of Sheffield Community Media said: “Not only is this an opportunity to expand the reach of Sheffield’s established community radio stations, we aim also to work with locally-based internet radio stations and radio start-ups to increase the range and diversity of services available.”