February 2024 – Strategic priorities update

| January 26, 2024

IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH shakes hands with Barry Lewis, G4SJH at WRC-23

Many of you will be aware that the RSGB has adopted four strategic priorities:

Growth of amateur radio; membership of the RSGB; spectrum and licensing; and ensuring the continued financial stability of the Society.

During the Discussion with the Board session at the RSGB Convention, we undertook to keep the membership informed on implementation of these priorities – hence this update. We intend to provide regular reports in the coming months.


We announced in January’s RadCom that the first steps under the ‘Growth’ initiative would be the planning of a growth workshop involving a cross-section of the amateur radio community, RSGB volunteers and staff. Several planning meetings have been held to scope out the task, and the first face-to-face meeting is scheduled in early February 2024. It is clear that amateur radio is not as popular as it once was, and this is something that we need to examine, to clarify our unique selling points, and to widen our appeal to a much larger audience. It is also obvious that demographics are against us and we must attract younger people to the hobby.

In parallel with this, we are planning to hold a membership workshop to examine recruitment to the Society, how to get new members and how to retain them as members in the long term.

The RSGB supports amateur radio and all radio amateurs in the UK. Without the efforts of our dedicated volunteers and HQ staff, the hobby would be much worse off. The following paragraphs illustrate the sheer amount of work that goes into preserving, maintaining and growing the amateur community.


The ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) was held in Dubai from 20 November until 15 December. As mentioned in the last update, the RSGB funded attendance by the Chair of the RSGB’s Spectrum Forum, Murray Niman, G6JYB who put in many long hours to ably represent the needs of UK radio amateurs during the event.

Murray was present as part of the Ofcom delegation to the event, to represent the interests of not just the RSGB but all UK amateurs. He was involved in many meetings and negotiations, defending our interests on wide ranging aspects including space weather, radar sounders in the 40-50MHz region, wireless power transmission, lunar communications and many other topics, many of which threaten to encroach on amateur allocations or impose limits on our use of the
amateur bands.

The IARU delegation to the 23cm deliberations at WRC-23 was led by the RSGB’s Microwave Manager, Barry Lewis, G4SJH. Barry did a tremendous job in representing the interests of all amateurs and much midnight oil was burnt before a compromise was eventually agreed. At the conclusion of this part of the conference, Tim Ellam, VE6SH, the President of IARU, thanked Barry publicly for his dedicated efforts in achieving a satisfactory outcome (pictured).


RSGB Committees and teams are working hard to change our processes and plan how to make the best of the new freedoms that amateurs will have following the Ofcom review of the amateur licence. The final outcome will not be known until after the period of representation closes on 22 January, but it seems that many of the proposals in the consultation are going to be implemented. So we do need to be prepared to make best use of our new terms and conditions. There is a wonderful opportunity here to allow non-licensed people to operate equipment under supervision, giving them a hands-on feel for amateur radio and making it attractive to get them involved in the hobby.


It is vital that we attract young people to amateur radio, and we intend to continue and expand support for youth initiatives of all kinds including working in schools, STEM projects, British Science Week, ARISS and others. It was great to see YOTA Month come around again during which we saw many young people activating the special call sign, GB23YOTA. The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park hosted the call sign in the middle of the month and youngsters operated using the HF bands and the QO-100 satellite. The call sign was hosted by many other schools, groups and individuals including St Peter-In-Thanet CE Junior School in Broadstairs, Mallaig High School and Wick High School in Scotland, Cambridge University Wireless Society and Cray Valley ARS, to name but a few. It was so rewarding to see young people enjoying themselves in this great hobby. A full report will follow in the March edition of RadCom.


RSGB President
John McCullagh, GI4BWM

RSGB Board Chair
Stewart Bryant, G3YSX


Category: RSGB Notices, RSGB Strategic Priorities