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Station boss devastated by grant decision

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In the midst of growing uncertainty and financial pressures, Park Radio has been dealt a hammer blow after Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, turned down its grant application.

Station director Chris Moyse found out on Friday that the Diss-based enterprise, which usually operates out of the youth and community centre, had failed in its bid for £10,000 in vital funding.

The volunteer-run organisation had hoped to secure a monetary lifeline from Ofcom’s Community Radio Emergency Fund – a £400,000 pot set up to help community radio stations across the UK as they battle to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

Park Radio station director Chris Moyse Picture: Mecha Morton
Park Radio station director Chris Moyse Picture: Mecha Morton

He said: “This money was ring-fenced for the sector’s 280 local stations to keep them afloat.

“To receive an email saying we would not be getting any money and there was no appeal process was devastating.”

The station had planned to expand its coverage to serve the likes of Long Stratton, Mendlesham and Bungay, but has been forced to shelve any plans until there is a clearer picture concerning its future.

Mr Moyse said: “Ofcom was happy to give permission to expand our broadcasting area in September, but now doesn’t want to help.

“We were classed as key workers in the beginning, lifting spirits and providing invaluable news, but now we have been left on our own.”

Mr Moyse must now hope that Park Radio is eligible for South Norfolk Council’s Local Discretionary Grant Fund.

“I just hope we can apply and get some help on a local level instead,” he added.

The Diss Express approached Ofcom for a comment.

An Ofcom spokesperson, said: "Community radio stations provide a reassuring local voice for millions of people, so it’s important this emergency funding is allocated quickly and effectively.

"We are offering stations a second opportunity to apply for a share of the remaining funds, which also gives them a bit more time to consider their needs and financial position."

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