After three years of broadcasting our community radio service to Newbury and Thatcham, we are soon going to embrace Hungerford as part of our coverage area.
Several of our volunteer presenters come from Hungerford, and we already work closely with Hungerford Town Council and the Town and Manor on a number of events, such as the Christmas Lights Switch-on, so embracing Hungerford as part of our coverage area is a natural progression.
In May 2021, Ofcom, the UK’s broadcasting regulator, approved the coverage extension, thanks to the amazing support we have received from you, the Hungerford community.
We are delighted to have received letters of support from Hungerford Town Council, the Town and Manor of Hungerford, Hungerford Town FC, Hungerford Chamber of Commerce, the District Councillors representing the Hungerford area on West Berkshire Council, and the Leader of West Berkshire Council. Newbury’s MP has also written to us to support our plans. We have also received letters of support from Greenham Trust and Sovereign.
Kennet Community Radio is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation that currently broadcasts 24/7/365 to Newbury and Thatcham on FM. More information is here: kennetradio.com/about-us/
As a community radio station, our remit is to provide listeners with something that is not otherwise available on their radio dial, to provide what Ofcom call “social gain” (in other words, our listeners have to be better off for the fact that we broadcasting to them) and to support and engage with the community.
Strict Income Controls
Our Community Radio broadcasting licence requires that a minimum of 25% of our annual income comes from grants, donations, and other non-broadcast sources. We are able to sell on-air advertising as well, as long as it doesn’t exceed 50% of our total annual income.
This, along with other rules, is so that community radio stations cannot turn into commercial radio stations.
We are very lucky to enjoy the support of Greenham Trust, without whose patronage Kennet Radio would not exist. We are also very fortunate to have the support of Grass Valley (formerly Quantel), who currently sponsor us by hosting our transmitter and aerial which covers Newbury and Thatcham.
We are currently talking to various community organisations in Hungerford about the possibility of hosting a Kennet Radio transmitter in Hungerford with their support . Hopefully we will be in a position to say more on this shortly.
Businesses: Low Cost Effective Radio Advertising
Because our radio service is focused on West Berkshire, the rates we charge for advertising are very low compared to larger commercial radio stations who cover wider areas.
As a result, local businesses find that advertising with Kennet Radio represents excellent value for money because they are not paying to advertise to people outside the area.
Additionally, they know that money spent with Kennet Radio goes to support a worthwhile community organisation.
For more information on advertising with Kennet Radio, go to kennetradio.com/advertise or call 01488 859880.
How long will it take?
Now that we have regulatory approval from Ofcom, we can get on with sorting out the technical details, getting planning permission, and getting the legal agreements and the funding in place.
Given the current public health crisis, everyone has priorities that are out of the ordinary, so it may take several months before we are able to take the next steps.
But all being well, if everything goes smoothly, we will be able to switch on our new Hungerford transmitter before Christmas.
If you have any queries about our Hungerford coverage, please email [email protected], or write to Julian Swift-Hook, Kennet Community Radio, Broadway House, Northbrook Street, Newbury RG14 1BA.