Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Your radio station celebrates 5 years on FM – with 5 more on the way

Tomorrow, 10th March, Kennet Radio marks five fabulous years of broadcasting to Newbury and Thatcham on FM and looks forward to the next five years with the exciting news that Ofcom has extended its broadcasting licence.

UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom granted a five-year broadcasting licence to Kennet Community Radio in February 2018.  The station started broadcasting full-time to Newbury and Thatcham on 106.7 FM on 10th March 2018.  Ofcom has extended Kennet Radio’s licence for a further five years, to 2028.

The volunteer-led, not-for-profit radio station started life in 2012.  It provides entertaining and friendly local radio that is accessible, informative and educational.  Run by local people, for local people, the station also supports local community, charity and business organisations in Newbury and Thatcham.

All Kennet Radio’s presenters are local volunteers.  Some are experienced radio broadcasters, but most are community-minded local people who have reached a high standard of broadcasting professionalism due to a careful training programme and high technical expertise. The station’s studios are in Broadway House, Newbury, courtesy of Greenham Trust.

The station is funded by grants, donations and advertising, all of which is invested in equipment and running costs. 

Community radio stations have to deliver what Ofcom calls “social gain”, or community support.  Kennet Radio supports the West Berkshire community by providing a platform for local charities and voluntary organisations to share with local listeners the amazing work they do as well as involving the local community in the operation and management of the station.

Kennet Radio’s founder and Chairman, Julian Swift-Hook, said,

“We have over 60 amazing volunteers who work both in front of the mic and behind the scenes to make Kennet Radio what it is – a truly local radio station in an era where local radio is rare and becoming rarer.

“The BBC has recently announced a reduction in its local radio services and commercial radio stations that used to have a strong local presence are all now part of large national groups.

“The UK’s 320 community radio stations are now the country’s biggest source of local radio, and I’m proud to say that Kennet Radio is one of the best.”

The Mayor of Thatcham, Councillor Jeff Brooks, commented,

“Kennet Radio has become a major player in helping to develop and sustain our local community. It informs, educates and provides great content which is fun and engaging.

“It is all about local people with a passion to entertain our residents and to be a key part of our news and our events. Well done on the extension to the license – long may you be broadcasting across our District”.

The Mayor of Newbury, Councillor Gary Norman, said,

I’m delighted that Ofcom have decided to extend the broadcasting licence for Kennet Radio. We are really lucky in Newbury and Thatcham to live in an area that has a truly local radio station run for local people by local skilled volunteers. As they say: ‘Your voice, your station’….”

You can listen to Kennet Radio by tuning in to 106.7 FM in Newbury and Thatcham, and you can listen on your smartphone wherever you are by downloading the Kennet Radio app.

You can also listen on your Amazon Echo or Google smartspeaker, and via the Kennet Radio website at www.kennetradio.com.

If you would like to volunteer for Kennet Radio, visit www.kennetradio.com/get-involved