Diss radio station secures future after securing Ofcom grant
A Diss radio station has been served a lifeline after being awarded financial support from Ofcom.
Park Radio has landed a grant by the broadcasting regulator as part of its Community Radio Fund, which was put in place to provide emergency cash funding to stations facing severe financial difficulty due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In June, the station was dealt a hammer blow after its bid for £10,000 from the regulator’s designated £400,000 pot for vital funding was turned down.
A second attempt, however, has proved successful, and station director Chris Moyse said staff at the volunteer-run organisation were “over the moon”, adding that the grant – which is an undisclosed sum – will be enough to see the station through to next year.
He said: “Everyone is over the moon at the news; it’s a huge, tangible endorsement of what we do from the regulator and will help with our ongoing running costs.
“We owe a debt of thanks to all the letters and emails from our listeners, which helped with our Ofcom bid.
“It will get us through to 2021 and, on top of that, advertising revenue is picking up, and we are being very inventive with other fundraising schemes that we have up our sleeve.”
The station, which is normally based out of Diss Youth and Community Centre in Shelfanger Road, has seen its DJs broadcasting from their own homes during the pandemic.
Despite airtime hours being significantly reduced over the past six months, on Tuesday the station returned to its pre-pandemic hours of 6am to 6pm on weekdays, broadcasting out of four different homes across Diss, Harleston and Eye.
“Technology is a wonderful thing,” said Mr Moyse.
“Listeners were wanting us to do more live output in the afternoons, so we listened to the audience and invested some capital in to equipment so that members of the team could do live programming from their homes.
“We have invested an awful lot of time, energy and capital in kitting-out our on-air team so that they can stream live programmes from a home setting.
“From day one, it was a huge success – it keeps the listeners and advertisers on board.”