Should there be a Community Media Fund UK

While not on Council anymore, I still believe the work CMA Council does is valuable. As a Community Radio Practitioner one of the challenges the sector has had is lack of funding for the sector. The Community Radio Fund is fine but is limited and doesn’t support the ongoing demands of Community Radio Stations now 270+ across the UK. And although the discussion has been top slicing the Television Licence Fee, well there is a model already created with The Community Channel and the money it receives. However we will never win the argument of increasing the community radio fund with considerable investment and I believe we should campaign for a wider fund.
A request to DCMS put serious money into ‘Community Media Fund UK’ which can be made available to any individual (students at College/University), groups of non profit, commercial and independent filmmakers and even mainstream production companies all able to apply under a Social Gain and Non Profit criteria. This could be administered by a panel from CMA / Radio Academy and a few others who can determine how this should be rolled out to applicants.
As more and more people enter into creative industries the challenges for local communities still need to be highlighted and where Arts has shown the impact it has so can Community Media. This can also help develop skills in volunteers, build confidence and self esteem while also helping to promote local communities.

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My problem with the community radio fund is that it is based around an out of date model that the only way to run a community radio station is through terrestrial broadcast.

There are a growing number of very successful online only community radio stations that do not have access to this fund but nonetheless provide a valuable service.

I think it should be recognised that online only stations overall are just as valid in the 21st century as FM stations.

Have to agree @SamHunt and like many others the CR Fund albeit has some merit for new starts it was specifically for CR stations. Over the years we have come across many online stations and have their space in the sector. Its this reason why a wider fund is needed so anyone can apply as long it meets social gain.
maybe with an election on the horizon this could be a good time to feed into politicians to support our cause.

But Javed, what about the audio content fund that the DCMS is running?

Audio Content Fund - if selfish yeah of course as its for a wider range of UK radio stations. In Principle it sounds good but we wait and see how its rolled out. But have to question… Audio UK (only for Independent) and Radio Centre (90% commercial) as its partners but what about CMA who work with members on the ground within those communities where this fund as it mentions " judged against a set of agreed criteria including Quality, Innovation, Additionality, Nations & Regions, Diversity, New Voices, Audience Reach and Plurality." - I don’t see CR stations getting access to the majority.

My argument is a wider for all. This audio fund can if desired and with the will power can be increased and upgraded to include all, sectors of radio, all sectors of television - community or commercial.
DCMS know who CMA are and know the sector we represent and yet where are we in the grand new fund which i guess 99% people wont have even heard off so far.

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