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Earby radio station aims for FM big time
A TINY community radio station is hoping to raise £10,000 to become an FM station.
West Craven Community Radio, which is currently an internet-only outlet, has approached Ofcom in the hope it will soon be able to broadcast across the airwaves.
The station, set up in Earby by James Jackman and Morris Horsfield and currently broadcasting four days a week, has already attracted listeners from as far afield as Canada, Australia and Malaysia.
The volunteer team, which has also received feedback from audience mem- bers in Turkey and Bulg- aria, needs to raise £10,000 to pay for a licence and transmitter and a second studio at its centre in Victoria Road in Earby.
James Jackman said: “We have had some very positive feedback since we launched in October. It has exceeded all our expectations.
“We have heard from people across the globe who are tuning in to hear us, some of whom are expats who want to hear what is happening back at home and listen to a northern accent.
“We decided that, because of the success that we have had already, we want to be able to expand our reach, especially in the local area.
“A lot of the people in Earby especially are elderly and may not be able to access the internet. If we become an FM station it will be a lot easier for them to tune in.
“We have approached Ofcom and got all the paperwork that we need to fill in to send to them, but we now have the challenge of raising £10,000 to pay for it.
“Some money can come through grants but we also have to show that we can put forward a substantial chunk ourselves and that there is a demand for the station. Ofcom only issue licences to community stations every five years and we know that they will be doing it at some point soon, so we really need the money as soon as possible.” An Ofcom spokesman confirmed it would be inviting bids for FM licences for the North West in “the first half of 2013”.
He added that the cost of applying was around £600.
A fundraising event is being held at Thornton Hall Country Farm tomorrow from noon until midnight to raise funds for the station.
‘Spring into West Craven Radio’ will feature 15 music acts performing live as well as a bar, food, bouncy castle, face-painting, bucking bronco, magic workshops, a children’s enter- tainer and a fancy dress competition. The station will broadcast live from the farm.
Tickets cost £8 for adults, £6 children, £3 under-twos and under-ones go free.
The station can be reached online at www. westcravenradio.com