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Shefcast Digital awarded digital radio licence for Sheffield and Rotherham

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.”

Anyone interested in getting involved is invited to connect with Shefcast Digital via www.shefcast.org/connect or by writing to info@shefcast.org

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Comments invited on digital radio plan for Sheffield and Rotherham

Shefcast Digital is inviting comments on its plans to host and support more than 20 new digital radio channels for Sheffield and Rotherham.

Shefcast Digital is the only locally-led and community-owned bid to operate the digital audio broadcasting (DAB) multiplex for Sheffield and Rotherham. It is backed by a consortium, including community radio stations Link FM, Redroad FM and Sheffield Live! together with Sheffield Community Media, who have formed an ambitious plan to bring new local, community and specialist radio services to digital radio listeners.

The Shefcast Digital Prospectus sets out proposals for a new social enterprise to own and operate for community benefit the DAB multiplex for Sheffield and Rotherham, including market analysis, content providers, technical plans, community ownership, and financial arrangements.

Shefcast Digital is inviting comments and feedback to support its application for a licence to Ofcom, the communications regulator. Its proposals are available to view online or to download below. Comments can be sent to info@shefcast.org or submitted online at http://shefcast.org/comments

Click on the image below to view the Shefcast Digital Prospectus in Google Drive
Shefcast Digital Prospectus Version 1.0
Or download pdf here

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Shefcast Digital bid lodged with Ofcom

Shefcast Digital, the locally-led not-for-profit consortium bidding to operate the digital radio service for Sheffield and Rotherham has lodged its broadcast licence application with communications regulator Ofcom.

The initiative brings together community radio stations Link FM, Redroad FM and Sheffield Live! with Sheffield Community Media, a community benefit society established to support community media development in Sheffield City Region. Shefcast Digital plans to offer digital radio listeners more than 20 new local, community and specialist radio services.

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New radio stations plan for Sheffield and Rotherham

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.

The initiative is supported by Sheffield-based media development agency, CM Solutions, and by the national Community Media Association, which has its headquarters in Sheffield.

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.”

Anyone interested in getting involved is invited to connect with Shefcast Digital via www.shefcast.org/connect or by writing to info@shefcast.org.