British broadcast and telecoms regulator Ofcom this week unveiled plans to guide and license the introduction of community radio in the UK.

The new radio format is aimed at groups wishing to broadcast to local communities at low-cost and without profit. Broadcasting on FM and AM frequencies, it will cover a five mile radius in urban regions and may extend further in rural areas.

Hoping to encourage a legal alternative to 'pirate' broadcasting, Ofcom opens its doors to licence applications on September 1. The closing date is November 23 and the regulator will award licenses next year for a maximum of five years.

Mary Dowson, chair of the Community Association, welcomes the announcement, describing it as: "the introduction of a new and exciting form of broadcasting in the United Kingdom".

The Community Media Association will offer application workshops in London, Glasgow and Manchester to guide prospective applicants.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff