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Bids invited to take local radio into late 2020s

Licence applications are being invited to take local commercial radio into the late 2020s.

Ofcom wants interested parties to apply for 12-year FM licences which will expire on various dates in 2027.

In the raft of areas to be covered are Helensburgh, Kingston-upon-Thames, Portsmouth, Ullapool and Wigan.

Fast-track applications, where only one group has shown interest, have been received by Ofcom from Dearne FM for Barnsley; Alpha Radio for Darlington; Wester Ross Radio for Gairloch; and Midwest Radio for Yeovil.

A re-award has gone to Splash FM in Worthing and seven-year renewals to Talksport for Signal 1 and 2 in Stoke-on-Trent.

Five-year extensions have been granted to Dunoon Radio for the Argyll area; Felixstowe Radio Community Interest Company in Suffolk; Speysound Radio in Badenoch and Strathspey; Sutton Youth Radio in Sutton-in-Ashfield; and Tamworth Radio Broadcasting in Tamworth.