WORK has started on plans to give Huntingdonshire its very own full-time radio station dedicated to the districts communities. Huntingdonshire Community Radio, which has been broadcasting to the area for a two-week stint every year for more than a decade
WORK has started on plans to give Huntingdonshire its very own full-time radio station dedicated to the districts' communities.
Huntingdonshire Community Radio, which has been broadcasting to the area for a two-week stint every year for more than a decade, has ambitions to become a permanent fixture on our airwaves.
A number of community radio licences will be up for grabs later this year and a new radio station for Huntingdonshire could be included in the mix.
HCR already has an enthusiastic group of volunteers, but in order to turn from a part-time operation into a full-time, commercially successful business, additional help and financial support is needed.
Bill Henlsey, station manager and the driving force behind the bid for a licence, told The Hunts Post HCR would provide radio for the community with the community helping to provide the content and programming.
"The dream is to have premises on Huntingdon High Street that can also act as a place for the community to meet up, maybe with an internet cafe and a place where you can get advice."
HCR would be available to the majority of the district - St Neots, St Ives, Huntingdon, Ramsey and the villages in between. The station is also aiming to include all age groups - "from six to 96" is the target audience.
Yearly running costs are estimated at about £200,000, including the five or six full-time workers needed to deal with the day to day running of the station.
"Because it's community radio, 50 per cent of funding comes from grants," said Mr Hensley. "The other 50 per cent we have to raise from advertising and sponsorship.
"We have support from about 30-40 businesses who look keen to advertise with us, but we do need support from the community."
The support needed to help make HCR a full-time station will have to come from a cross-section of Huntingdonshire's community. Sponsors willing to give financial backing, business experts who can help with the station's business plan, and volunteers wanting to get involved in working for the station are all needed. A special meeting has been set up to begin the process of putting a full and professional bid together for Ofcom.
However, Mr Hensley added: "One of the essential parts of the bid will be to find the right venue - somewhere central where people can drop.
"If anyone has a building which they believe could be utilised for the radio station, then please get in touch and help give Huntingdonshire is own radio station."
The meeting takes place at 7pm at the George Hotel in Huntingdon on October 1.
INFORMATION: Mr Hensley can be contacted at: 22 High Street, Warboys, or on 07767823424 or 01487 823424 or via e-mail at: Bill.firstname.lastname@example.org. HCR will soon begin broadcasting on the internet and will return for a two-week spell on FM later this year.