Community radio explained

Community radio was launched in the UK by broadcasting regulator Ofcom in 1995 following The Community Radio Order 2004, enshrined within the Communication Act 2003 which provided the means for Ofcom to license Community Radio in the UK. This was laid before HM Parliament at Westminter, London on 15 June 2004 and was approved by Parliament and became law on 20 July 2004.

Unlike traditional local commercial radio stations, the community radio stations broadcast to smaller areas and they focus on a specific community or on a range of listeners inside their broadcast area which is in the case of Bute Island Radio. The station’s job is to benefit our ‘community of interest’ rather than make a profit.

A community radio station’s programmes will reflect the needs and interests of its audience. But rather than ‘talk at’ its community, the station should become a central part of it. This means creating direct links with its listeners, offering training opportunities and making sure that members of the community can take part in how the station is run. This is at the core of Bute Island Radio’s vision of how we operate our service.


Funding Bute Island Radio

The funding of community stations like Bute Island Radio comes from a number of sources:



Bute Island Radio is allowed to raise 50% of running costs from commercial advertising and sponsorship under Ofcom regulations.
For more information, contact


Grant funding

Therefore, at least half of Bute Island Radio’s operating income must come from other areas. This could include public funding from local or central government, other government agencies, the European Union, the National Lottery or charities, training and employment grant schemes.

We would be happy to hear of any grant funding that may be available.


Personal individual giving or company donations

If you are keen to support Bute Island Radio and find out how you can make a difference, either as a personal or company donation, through a grant or by any other means, we would be delighted to meet you.

Funding enquiries

Funding enquires can be addressed to:
Finance Officer, Bute Island Radio, 7 Castle Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, PA20 9HA

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