Developing a community-led bid for Ofcom Small Scale Digital Audio Broadcasting (SSDAB)

Arts At The Mill CIC is inviting comments and expressions of interest regarding its plans to bid to operate the Small-scale digital audio broadcasting (SSDAB) multiplex for Wigan and St Helens.

The community-focussed arts and heritage organisation, which operates The Old Courts and is developing the Royal Court Theatre, Wigan Pier and The Grand Hotel, is launching a bid for a Small-Scale DAB multiplex which will promise an increase in the number of community and local stations coming from and focussed on Wigan & St Helens.

The team at The Old Courts, who will lead on this project, are interested to hear from, existing community or commercial radio stations; new and emerging community or commercial radio projects; and community members. To take part in these conversations participants need to complete an online Expression of Interest form.

Jess Rotherham, The Old Courts Development Manager, said: “Small-scale DAB is an amazing opportunity to ensure that our local radio is inclusive, diverse and reflects the wants and needs of local communities. Particularly over the past 12 months, we have seen just how important radio is to keeping people in touch and informed. We are really interested to hear from local and community radio stations who are interested in joining us on this project.”
The Small-scale DAB multiplex is a new opportunity which is seen as a more affordable way of getting local and community radio operators on the air. Over 20 new radio stations could launch in Wigan and St Helens with a successful bid to Ofcom.

Community Interest Company Arts At The Mill CIC will explore how the Small-scale DAB multiplex for Wigan and St Helens can be run on a not-for-profit basis, with surplus revenue delivering community benefits.

Anyone already operating a digital radio channel, interested in starting one or simply want to find out more please get in touch.