Sunday, July 29, 2012

UK: New Community radio station Peterborough FM goes on air

A new Peterborough radio station has gone on air today - in a bid to get the city its own broadcasting license.
Community station Peterborough FM took to the air on 87.7 fm today (Saturday).

The station will broadcast until August 17 on a restricted service license, as it seeks to acquire full broadcasting rights in the next two years. 

The license comes just weeks after Radio Peterborough, a not-for-profit venture, completed a month of live broadcasts that also aimed to prove the city needs its own voice.

Mark Mason, chairperson of Peterborough FM’s steering group, said: “Peterborough isn’t represented on local Cambridgeshire radio. 

“Our aim when we get a full time license is to report the local issues that affect people in the city.” 

The station has worked out a special schedule for its latest restricted license, which runs through the bulk of the London Olympic Games. 

The line up comprises talk based shows in the morning, entertainment in the afternoon, and specialist music shows in the evening. 

Mr Mason added that additional funding secured from the National Lottery’s Big Lottery Fund this week will aid the station’s bid for a full-time license. 

“It will enable us to build an extra studio and invest in new equipment that will give us outside broadcast capabilities,” he added.

“We’ll also be employing a studio technician and a diversity officer, so it’s very important funding that will take the station forward in many ways.”

To date the Lottery funding has been used to train 700 local people in radio broadcasting, while separate funds from the BBC Children in Need Appeal has been used to introduce 100 youngsters aged 13 to 18 years old to radio.

The need for a local license is echoed by Wayne Fitzgerald, station director at Radio Peterborough, who said: “It’s remarkable, given the size of the town, that it doesn’t have its own station.”

Mr Fitzgerald added that Radio Peterborough’s recent month long broadcasts were well received by listeners, garnering 5,000 Facebook followers despite the station’s standing start. 

(Source :  Peterborough Telegraph, UK)

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