A NEW bid has been launched to create a full-time community radio station for St Neots. Tony Gillham, of Black Cat Radio, gave a presentation to the town council on Wednesday outlining his intentions to launch a radio service dedicated to the town and su

A NEW bid has been launched to create a full-time community radio station for St Neots.

Tony Gillham, of Black Cat Radio, gave a presentation to the town council on Wednesday outlining his intentions to launch a radio service dedicated to the town and surrounding villages.

Mr Gillham, who is also a presenter on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, said: "We want to create a community radio station for the town.

"It would be the voice of St Neots and we believe the town deserves its own station."

Black Cat Radio already broadcasts part-time through a website but, a permanent licence would allow it to broadcast to radios within a 5km radius of the town

The station, which was established in 2007, has attempted to get a community radio licence before but was unsuccessful when Ofcom announced the latest licence winners earlier this year.

In Cambridgeshire the community licence went to Huntingdon-based HCRfm.

However, Black Cat is determined to get its own licence for St Neots and is hunting for a permanent site in St Neots for a new studio - Mr Gillham currently has a studio in his Buckden back garden - and an area where a mast could be erected.

Town councillors enthusiastically agreed to back Black Cat Radio's application to Ofcom.

Cllr David Harty described it as "an excellent project".

Town mayor, Cllr Gordon Thorpe, said: "We are quite anxious to help and consider this to be a worthwhile project."

He invited Mr Gillham to visit the town to investigate possible sites for the aerial. He also suggested Black Cat Radio may be able to share the council's depot in Levellers Lane.

In addition to backing from the town council, Black Cat's venture also has support from Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly.

Mr Djanogly said in a letter: "I have visited the radio station several times in the last few years and it is a superb asset to the community."

Mr Djanogly added: "I do believe that Black Cat Radio would make an excellent full-time radio station and on that basis I am happy to support the station in its bid for a full-time licence."

The not-for-profit making radio would need £98,000 a year to operate, half of which would come from advertising, with the rest from grants and donations.

Mr Gillham is hoping to do a test broadcast at Christmas.