Two new community radio stations to join SE London’s waveband

Select Radio website screen grab
Select Radio, which has a roster of 50 DJs, says it will champion local independent artists and record labels

SE London is to gain new two community radio stations after the communications regulator Ofcom awarded FM licences to Select Radio and Rainbow Radio yesterday.

While an increasing amount of radio listening is done via DAB and the internet, Ofcom is still awarding licences to new community stations.

Select Radio, which already broadcasts online and has been established since 2001, promises a broad range of dance music genres and to offer training for young people in music production, DJ skills, hosting their own radio programmes and social media management. It told Ofcom it would appeal to both older and younger listeners as dance music “is followed widely now because those youngsters have matured along with the music”.

It plans to transmit to Croydon, Southwark, Lewisham, Bromley, Greenwich and Bexley boroughs, with its studios in Lewisham borough.

Rainbow Radio, meanwhile, aims to serve black African communities in Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham, Croydon and the western part of Greenwich from a base in Telegraph Hill. It has operated online since 2003. “Rainbow Radio is entirely unique because no other station caters for London’s black Africans,” its application to Ofcom says.

The two stations will join Shooters Hill-based Maritime Radio, which opened just over a year ago, on SE London’s FM waveband. Maritime, which broadcasts to Greenwich borough on 96.5FM and online, plays contemporary and classic hits and local features. It also covers local news: along with 853, it was the only local media outlet that attended the borough’s general election count last December.

It took to the air 10 years after the closure of the previous community station for the borough, Time 106.8, which began life as RTM Radio in 1990 as a successor to a cable station in Thamesmead.

Select Radio and Rainbow Radio will be the first full-time community stations in Lewisham since New Cross-based First Love Radio, which opened in 1999, before becoming Fusion 107.3 and Time 107.3, then South London Radio before also closing in 2009.

Elsewhere in south London, Croydon FM, an urban music station, was also given a licence to serve that borough.

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