News Roundup: 5th February

Community Radio News

A new community station in Northumberland has been given the go-ahead to start broadcasting.

Synergy fm will be based in Bedlington and will broadcast online and on 87.7 fm to towns including, Morpeth, Ashington, Blyth and Cramlington.

Organisers have been trying to raise money for nearly 4 years to start up the studio in a former gas showroom. They have raised around £20,000 so far from local and national contributors including the Big Lottery fund.

Their 28 day licence has just been approved and they will start broadcasting on Saturday March 3rd.

South Birmingham Community Radio has closed amid a dispute with the City Council.

The station could not find £2000 to replace a window cracked in an attempted break-in and as a result has had to shut the building which was leased from the council. The building has now been deemed uninsurable under Health and Safety regulations.

Peni Whelan, the station manager told Birmingham that the council were refusing to help by postponing rent or helping with repairs. She said she thought it was a ploy by the council to shut them up because of the station’s anti-authority stance.

The council responded that they could not treat the station any different from other commercial or domestic tenants and that under the terms of their tenancy, the station was responsible for the repair.

Community station, Cheshire fm closed last week after receiving a winding-up order.

The station based in mid-Cheshire had been broadcasting for 5 years and had recently received a renewal licence from Ofcom that would allow it to continue doing so until 2017.

However, the station was ordered to close because of its financial problems with unpaid debts. It ceased transmission at 2:30pm on Friday January 27th. However, company director Bob Barton told local paper the, Winsford Guardian, that they were only off air for the time being while they tried to try to restructure the company.

This is our second story about a community station closing down this week. Do you think this a new problem in light of the economic climate or has it always been a uphill battle for community radio? Let us know what you think- see our Contact Us page or  


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