Park Radio given 'stay of execution' with South Norfolk Covid grant
A Diss community radio station has been rescued from the brink after securing a £2,000 grant from South Norfolk Council.
Park Radio, which has been broadcasting to residents in the Norfolk and Waveney Valley region for little over a decade, secured the vital funding this week.
The station has suffered devastating financial losses since the pandemic began, with advertising revenues dwindling and community events restricted.
The additional restriction grant – which is offered to businesses that have been heavily impacted by the virus, without necessarily having to close – will assist with running costs at the station, which operates out of Diss Youth and Community Centre, in Shelfanger Road.
While the news will come as a relief to listeners, managing director and manager Chris Moyse described it as a “stay of execution”, adding that more will need to be done in order to secure the station’s long-term future.
He said: “With many listeners being confined to and now working from home, the company of the local radio station has been a real morale boost and friend during these tricky and uncertain times.
“Our team of more than 40 volunteers are so relieved and so delighted that South Norfolk Council has recognised the true importance of the work we do here at Park Radio.
“Everyone here has worked their socks off to bring the very best local radio to the Waveney Valley.”
The station has also applied to the broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, for further financial support, and expects to hear a decision at some point in February.
The grant from South Norfolk Council is expected to keep the station ticking over for the coming months, Mr Moyse explained.
He said: “Until the local economy can safely reopen and they can return to using radio as a means to promote themselves, we are taking each month at a time.
“But this grant from South Norfolk Council will assist us for a couple of months.”
Mr Moyse, originally from Diss, got his start on hospital radio in Norwich before working as an accountant for Radio Broadland in 1984.
After returning to Diss in 2006, he worked to launch Park Radio, with the community station completing its first test transmission in 2010.