Community Radio stations go digital thanks to City Funds & Bristol Local Access Programme £70k investment

The £70k City Funds & Bristol Local Access Programme’s investment in Bristol Digital Radio has supported the installation of digital audio broadcasting transmission infrastructure, for the benefit of community radio in the city

Bristol Digital Radio is a collaboration between the city’s community radio stations – Ujima RadioBCfm and Bradley Stoke Radio.

All three stations have broadcast to their communities on FM for decades and provide an important service for local people, helping tackle social exclusion and giving a voice to under-represented sections of society.

DAB Digital Radio is how most people listen to the radio today and all new vehicles come with DAB radios installed. With FM listening declining to less than 33%, there’s a risk of community stations staying stuck in the analogue era, unable to reach their local audiences.

The 70k Bristol & Bath Regional Capital investment – through their Bristol-focused fund, City Funds, and the Bristol Local Access Programme, has provided the funding vitally needed to build the digital transmission infrastructure across the city. By bringing them to a digital signal, these small-scale stations are now able to stay accessible to their listeners.

The investment in Bristol Digital Radio will also provide additional funding into the community media sector in the city.


Community Radio stations go digital thanks to City Funds & Bristol Local Access Programme £70k investment

Photo: Tom Page. From from left to right: James Witcombe, Station Manager, Bradley Stoke Radio (red striped shirt), Pat Hart, CEO, BCfm, Donald Mack, Ujima Radio & Nick Piggott, Bristol Digital Radio at the launch of Bristol Digital Radio at Bristol Beacon on 5th December 2022.

Extra info

  • Ofcom awarded the group licences to run digital radio multiplexes covering Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
  • All of Bristol’s community radio stations (Ujima, BCfm, Bradley Stoke Radio, KTCRHub Radio) will now broadcast on DAB Digital Radio.
  • Alongside the community stations will be new digital stations for Bristol, including Bristol-based NOODS Radio and Decadance, who employ presenters and support staff locally.

About BBRC

Bristol & Bath Regional Capital is the region’s only investment company to focus exclusively on enabling regional change by democratising financial purpose and profit. BBRC ensures that impact-driven organisations have access to the financial support they need to succeed and thereby create long-term economic, social and environmental prosperity for the region and beyond.

Established in 2015, BBRC has raised over £36 million in new social investment for the region.

About Bristol Digital Radio

Bristol Digital Radio (BDR) is group of commercial, community and student radio stations in the Bristol area who are all interested in broadcasting on DAB as part of these trials.

The stations combined programming, technical expertise and resource to form an application which was submitted to Ofcom along with around 50 other groups.

In June 2015 Ofcom awarded a trial license to Celador Radio for a multiplex to cover the City of Bristol, and transmissions started in October 2015 from a site in Ashton Gate.

Ujima Radio

Ujima Radio is for people in the St Paul’s and Easton areas of Bristol. It informs, represents, educates, entertains, communicates and celebrates culture, heritage and diversity within the local BME communities, and generates strong community support and participation. It provides an accessible range of programmes and equips individuals and local groups with the skills to create programme content for the station and its website.


BCFM is for the people of Bristol including children, young adults, older people, disabled people and ethnic minorities in the area. It promotes social cohesion and well-being by providing an engaging and challenging radio experience. It uses a mix of speech-based and music shows to inform, educate and entertain the target audience. Education is a central principle in the project and training opportunities are tailored to the needs of participants.

Bradley Stoke Radio 

Bradley Stoke Radio provides a service for the people of Bradley Stoke, with locally relevant programming. Volunteers and their skills are used to boost community pride and a sense of identity for residents and to help other community groups in the area improve their profile. Programming includes a variety of music and speech programmes produced by and for the residents of the area.