Community radio may come to Guernsey, Alderney and Sark

Community radio stations can be set up in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the communications regulator Ofcom has announced.

Sue Williams, from Ofcom, said UK legislation was adapted to allow the not-for-profit stations to be licensed in Guernsey, Alderney and Sark.

She said such stations had to be run by volunteers and focus on local issues.

Ms Williams said before any licence was approved its impact on commercial radio would be investigated.

There is currently just one commercial station, Island FM, and one BBC Local Radio station, BBC Guernsey in the islands.

Five-year licences

Ms Williams said Alderney's Quay FM, which currently broadcasts in the summer each year on a temporary licence to coincide with Alderney week, had campaigned for the Broadcasting Act to be extended to the Bailiwick.

She said community radio had to identify its target audience, benefit the community, get participation from residents and be accountable to its audience.

Community stations in the UK typically provide 81 hours of output a week produced by around 70 volunteers.

Most stations can carry advertising and sponsorship, although half their income must come from other sources, but those that overlap with small commercial services are not allowed.

Ofcom is expected to start accepting applications for five-year licences later this year.

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