A cross party group of MPs, including Swansea West MP, Geraint Davies, has written to the government urging it to support community radio stations.

The letter forms part of the #SaveCommunityRadio campaign that is being led by the Community Media Association (CMA) to secure urgent support for community radio.

Many community radio stations are facing increased financial stress due to the coronavirus pandemic because they rely on advertising revenue, a source of income that has dried up as businesses seek to cut costs incurred by being in lockdown.

Mr Davies said: “Local, community based radios are vital for promoting local cohesion. They help to create trust and respect among their audiences since they are based in their area.

“In these difficult times community radio is facing an unprecedented fall in revenue, a fall that puts many of them at acute risk.

“While I welcome the emergency measures that the Chancellor has announced for charities and social enterprises, they are unlikely to provide the support needed by most community radio stations. If nothing is done many are unlikely to survive the crisis.”

Since the publication of the letter the government has responded, with the Minister of State for Media and Data, John Whittingdale, saying:

“I am very much aware of the huge contribution community radio stations make to communities in this country and their importance in ensuring a real choice and diversity of information.

“This government is strongly supportive of the community radio sector and recognises the great value that it offers to those whom it serves, in terms of local news, information and

“We are committed to community radio’s long-term sustainability and are reviewing all available options in this regard.”

The letter also outlined the various schemes that make up the government economic support package and how they may be relevant to community radio stations.

Responding to the letter Mr Davies said: “I appreciate that the government is aware of and values the contribution of community radio to our local areas, but there is a need for a specific set of support measures that fall outside of the currently announced schemes.

“Unlike many businesses that are using the furlough scheme, community radio stations are still in demand because they provide a key service.

“Therefore, the government must introduce some specific measures so that community radio can continue to provide a vital service in this time of crisis.”

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