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Leicester radio stations come together for small scale DAB bid

by RadioToday UK
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Community Radio stations in Leicester have come together to bid for the new DAB multiplex licence for the city.

In a collaboration between EAVA FM, Kohinoor Radio, LCR2, Radio2Funky and Takeover Radio, Leicester Digital Partnership CIC is developing a bid to Ofcom for the small-scale licence.

Operations Director Dr Rob Watson told RadioToday: “we’ve come together to pool our experience and expertise in providing radio in Leicester, and to support additional radio services for the benefit of residents of the Greater Leicester Area.”

“As a not-for-profit company, Leicester Digital Partnership is looking to offer community-focussed radio stations in Leicester the chance to be heard on the Small-Scale DAB platform, at a price they can afford.

“We are also offering space on the service for commercial partners at very competitive rates. Any profits we generate will be used to improve and support Community Radio in Leicester, helping our partners to continue to make radio that is accessible to volunteers, relevant to our communities, and trusted by listeners.”

The Leicester Digital Partnership is now recruiting additional radio services that complement the mix of services that are already signed up to be on DAB in Leicester.

See all the known applicants for Round 3 here.


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 cost-effective way of reaching new 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 talk about 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 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 who 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, 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 the only 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 give us a low-cost option for being on DAB.”

Rob Watson says: “We want to keep our pricing as simple as possible. Commercial services will be charged a competitive rate, while C-DSP services will receive a fifty per cent discount. We are innovating by agreeing on contracts we are calling ‘C-DSP+’, which will be offered a 100% discount if they agree to meet similar Social Gain objectives to those that licensed community radio stations are bound by.

“The deadline for the bid submission is 25th April 2022, and anyone who wishes to discuss the possibility of having their service carried on the multiplex, if we are successful in our bid, should contact us as soon as possible, as we are likely to be over-subscribed and will have a waiting list.

“We want stations that are based in Leicester, and for Leicester, to thrive, while offering listeners choices that they don’t already get in Leicester.”

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