Shefcast Digital, a consortium of community media organisations has been awarded the licence to establish the new digital audio broadcasting (DAB) service for Sheffield and Rotherham, it was announced today by Ofcom, the communications regulator.
Community radio stations Link FM, Redroad FM and Sheffield Live! have joined forces with Sheffield Community Media to develop the new DAB network. The joint venture, Shefcast Digital, has been set up as a social enterprise and is supported by Sheffield-based media development agency, CM Solutions, and by the national Community Media Association.
Steve Buckley, chair of Shefcast Digital said: “We are delighted Ofcom has selected our community-led consortium for this first competitively awarded Small-Scale DAB licence. Shefcast Digital promises to bring more than 20 new digital radio services to listeners in Sheffield and Rotherham, increasing choice and catering for a diversity of interests.”
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 to develop a new tier of local and community radio services that cater for underserved audiences and communities.”
Hafeas Rehman of Link FM said: “We are delighted to be working with Redroad FM and Sheffield Live! on this project to make community radio available to digital radio audiences and to support new local and community radio initiatives.”
Trevor Grossett of Rotherham’s Redroad FM said: “We are delighted with this news of the licence being awarded to our consortium and are looking forward to joining the the new DAB platform.”
Bill Best of the national Community Media Association said: “The CMA welcomes the award of the Sheffield and Rotherham DAB licence to Shefcast Digital. Local and community ownership of this new tier of DAB services is the best guarantee for local content and social value.”