A Diss-based community radio station hoping to broadcast full-time has confirmed its intention to broadcast as far as Harleston following a “successful” meeting with Ofcom.
Park Radio, formed in 2010 and has so far completed four 28-day broadcasts, announced they would apply for a five-year full time broadcast licence from regulator Ofcom last year.
Co-director at the station, Chris Moyse, said the normal five kilometre licence that would be given to a station the size of Park Radio would not have enough power to cover both towns. There would be no additional cost for licence, which costs £600 per year.
But members of the radio station met with the regulator last Wednesday to show their plan to include Harleston at a meeting Mr Moyse described as “successful.” He said he believes the addition of the town would make the station more sustainable, and expand their catchment to a potential 45,000 listeners.
“If you look at what Ofcom have been doing around the country before they get here, they have already given licences to people in Yorkshire which have got the same issue of sparseness of population and towns which are wide apart.”
Mr Moyse said other examples of sparsely populated areas gaining licences to cover a larger area gave the station hope. He said that Ofcom understood that tough economic times meant that a station relying on community fundraising and advertising needed some broadcast flexibility.
“We always felt that if we could, we should include Diss and Harleston,” he said.
“We went and did a presentation to the great and the good of Harleston last year, and we had a good response.”
A presentation is to be held at the next Harleston with Redenhall Town meeting on April 9 from the station.
Council chairman Eric Bird added: “I can see no disadvantages. I don’t know a lot about this at the moment but I don’t see any reason why not.”
Applications for the East of England will be advertised in the next month, giving Park Radio three months to apply.
By the autumn the station should know whether it has been successful
n Park Radio is looking for volunteers. If anyone is interested, visit the Park Radio website at www.parkradio.co.uk, or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/parkradiodiss