"If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again" - William Edward Hickson, 1803-1870
Leicester Community Radio has applied several times for a "full" AM/FM license. Furthermore we have operated and been involved with (under various different names) several 28-day "RSL" licenses.
More recently in 2015 we applied for a AM license but were rejected as our talk-heavy service was deemed "unsustainable".
In 2017 we applied for a FM city-wide license but were rejected on the basis of lack of suitable city-wide frequencies. One localised frequency was deemed to be available, and this was awarded to Radio2funky on the basis they have promised to give away free Higher Level qualifications in Media and the Arts. Unofficially we have been told we would have been quite disappointed in the performance from this frequency anyway is it will suffer badly with interference at the edge of the city.
In September 2018 Demon FM, a local community radio station, announced that in May 2019 they will be handing their FM license back and ceasing transmission. We attempted to discuss transferring the license to ourselves after May 2019, but the management would rather hand back the license than transfer to another group locally. The statutory 6 month renewal period has now passed and there is no longer any chance of being able to rescue the license. Ofcom has confirmed this frequency will not be readvertised for the foreseeable future.
Undaunted we have pushed on, and Ofcom has now granted us a low power AM license for 1449khz. This will supplant the online service, which will remain our primary method of communication.
Our online listening figures are gradually increasing and we have seen dramatic growth throughout 2018, with our listening figures online only now exceeding the figures quoted for total listening on two of Leicester's FM community stations.
We thank everyone for your support, feedback and input. It really is inspiring how much momentum is starting to pick up without having a highly prized FM license, and refreshing to see our online listening figures growing week on week.
We continue to work in the background on options to obtain a FM license. Our current work is to challenge technically the Ofcom claim that "no" FM frequencies are available. Our engineers believe there are multiple FM frequencies available that will give city-wide coverage, albeit with a more complicated than usual transmitter installation to make best use of these frequencies.
Perhaps however it is either testament to the strength of our offering, or perhaps the dwindling necessity for having a FM transmission ability (as evidenced by the RAJAR figures) that the station listenership is now exceeding that of other existing licensed FM community radio stations in Leicester.
Whatever the future is, be it analog FM or digital IP, Leicester Community Radio will continue to grow with our clear goals:-
1: Increase Social Cohesion
2: Help the unemployed and low-earning in Leicester progress careers
3: Help the homeless through informational broadcasts