Start a Radio Station in U.K

To start a radio station in U.K you will have to obtain a broadcast license from Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA which is the regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries.


Only bodies corporate (i.e. not individuals) can apply for Radio licenses in U.K.

There are 5 criteria for judging a license application:
a) Sustainability and economic viability
b) Need and relevance
c) Distinctiveness from existing radio station
d) Local demand
e) Accountability and past track record of the applicant

Frequency of Operation

In U.K, F.M radio stations operate in a frequency range of 87.5 MHz to 108 MHz. Broadcasting in this frequency range without a legitimate license is illegal. (This is how several pirate radio stations operate from several parts of U.K specially around London.)

Licensing Methodology

Applications for licenses are invited annually with a twelve week period between the invitation to apply and the closing date.

The decision is taken by Ofcom, the independent regulator for the UK communications industries. The licenses are for a maximum period of five years.
License is generally granted for a 4 years tenure at a time and the licensee generally becomes eligible for renewal under a fast track system at the time of renewal of the license subject to meeting of the norms applicable at the time of renewal.

License is granted to establish, install and/or use radio transmitting and/or receiving stations and/or radio apparatus as per the existing statutory provisions at the time of application.

If you intend to set up a radio station anywhere in U.K, we recommend you to apply for a license.  A radio station license is not difficult to obtain if you are applying for places other than the major cities of U.K. Even in the major cities, frequencies are available in most of the cases. Ofcom regularly keeps coming up with invitations of intent to apply for FM local commercial radio licenses across several available frequency bands all across U.K.

Soft copy of License application forms are available at the website of OfCom for download.

Once a license is obtained Setting up a radio station in U.K can be done at a minimal cost of a few thousand pounds. You can obtain a reasonable power transmitter at around £400 and a decent radio station studio can be set up for £2,500.

Write to us for broadcasting consultancy and turnkey services in any part of U.K