HC Deb 28 January 1986 vol 90 cc484-5W
Mr. Gale

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about special event radio.

Mr. Hurd

Following the occasional use of low-powered radio at sporting and other events, I have decided to establish a broader-based experiment in the use of such radio to provide information or other services to those attending events such as festivals, county or other shows, motor racing meetings and other sporting events. The experiment will run for two years from 1986, and up to 25 licences for special event radio will be available in each year of the experiment. Licences will be issued by the Home Office, and, subject to the availability of frequencies, will be available for recognised events which are of not more than two weeks duration and which take place within a single site. Depending upon the site, the maximum effective radiated power will be 50 milliwatts, and frequencies will be allocated in the medium wave band. A licence fee of £450 will be payable to cover Home Office and Department of Trade and Industry costs; where, however, a licensee proposes to broadcast on separate occasions at the same site, a fee of £100 will be payable for successive licences, provided that the technical characteristics of the broadcasting station remain the same. It is my intention that special event radio should be subject broadly to the same conditions on the content of broadcasts, advertising and sponsorship as the experimental neighbourhood community radio stations due to begin broadcasting in the near future.

Full details of the general and technical conditions and the licensing procedure for special event radio are set out in notes for the guidance of prospective licencees, available from the Home Office. Applications for licences for events in 1986 should reach the Home Office by 28 February 1986. Consistent with the experimental nature of the scheme, applications will be selected with a view to providing experience of special event radio at a range of different events in different locations.