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Plymouth to get new radio stations

Local group to launch digital network

A new digital radio network for Plymouth is to launch later this year, after broadcast regulator Ofcom awarded a licence to a group led by the company behind Devon’s Radio Exe.

It means that Plymouth and the surrounding area could receive up to 25 new radio stations broadcasting on DAB+ digital radio. Broadcast regulator Ofcom is rolling out such services nationally, and asked for groups interested in running the service to apply last year. Two did; PlymDab, based at Hospital Radio Plymouth, and another based in Cheltenham.

PlymDab, the successful applicant, will now install two transmitters that together will reach round 250,000 listeners around Plymouth, West Devon and South East Cornwall.

Stations already scheduled to be on the line-up include Hospital Radio Plymouth, which will then be heard across the area, reaching friends and families of patients and staff, rather than just people on the hospital site.

Community station Phonic FM, which is part of a similar network in Exeter that launched in December, will begin broadcasting to Plymouth.
Devon’s Radio Exe, which is already available on digital radio in Plymouth, will have higher quality sound and is planning a number of spin-off stations.

Westward Broadcasting, which also broadcasts a station on digital radio in Exeter, is also part of PlymDab, as is Clear Sky Publishing, which owns the Torbay Weekly, North Devon Gazette, Mid Devon Weekly and The Moorlands and their associated websites.

In choosing PlymDab to operate the network, Ofcom said people “involved in the application demonstrated extensive experience of and commitment to the radio sector locally” and that they viewed the involvement of Hospital Radio Plymouth positively.

PlymDab chair Tricia Duff, who was previously managing director of Radio Plymouth, said: “When we launch, the area’s events can be covered by pop-up radio stations along with businesses, sports clubs or individuals who wish to set up radio stations in Plymouth. 

“These stations will provide the best in local and will be able to do so in digital quality at a relatively low cost,  and of course reach a large audience. We’ll have a range of stations focused specifically on our local communities in the area, so if you’re interested in joining us, please get in touch.” 

Anyone interested in launching a radio station on the network should email enquiries@plydab.com. It is a requirement that stations must hold, or apply for, appropriate Ofcom licences.

PlmyDab’s full plans can be read on its website: www.plymdab.com

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