CMA launches new 'CRF Assistance' service

The Community Media Association has launched CRF Assistance, a free service to help up to 15 CMA members apply to Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund (CRF). Drawing on 15 years of experience of being a CRF Panel member, CMA Treasurer Richard Hilton will initially offer at least an hour’s free one-to-one support and advice to up to 15 CMA members who wish to apply to the Community Radio Fund. An application form to apply for help with CRF applications is online here.

The first round of the Community Radio Fund 2021-22 opened for applications from eligible stations on Friday 28 May and will close at 5pm on Friday 25 June 202 1. DCMS has provided £400,000 for grants for the 2021-22 financial year.

Licensees that hold a Community Digital Sound Programme (C-DSP) licence are eligible to apply for the Fund if the station is broadcasting on a digital radio multiplex at the date of their application.

The Community Radio Fund helps to fund the core costs of running Ofcom-licensed community radio stations. Grants can only be made to Ofcom-licensed community radio stations in the UK, broadcasting on AM, FM, or via a C-DSP licence on a digital radio multiplex.

The Community Radio Fund Panel is expected to meet in August 2021 to consider the applications. The timetable will depend on the number of applications submitted.

More details of the CRF Application Support Scheme will be announced at the online June meeting for CMA Members that will feature experienced community radio practitioner Lawrie Hallett who will give useful advice on Ofcom’s updated application forms and guidance notes for prospective multiplex operators. Booking for the June meeting here:

Richard Hilton, CMA Treasurer, says “I’ve been on the Community Radio Fund Panel since its inception in 2005 and I am really looking forward to sharing my knowledge of the Fund to as wide a range of prospective applicants as possible to improve their chances of success in applying to this popular but highly competitive fund”.

Dom Chambers, CMA Chair, says “This is a new initiative for the CMA to help and support its members to improve their sustainability and delivery of social gain objectives. Richard’s knowledge of the Community Radio Fund is second to none and the CMA is delighted to be able to support our members in this way”.

Bill Best, CMA Operations Manager, says “Richard’s advice on applying to the CRF can also be applied to other grant funding applications and any station getting some help and advice from Richard will improve their overall funding options going forward”.