Ofcom awards Winchester Radio an FM licence

‘Radio for Winchester, From Winchester, By Winchester’ has taken a step closer today with the awarding of a community radio licence to local volunteer-led charity, ‘Winchester Radio’.

The charity applied to Ofcom for an FM community radio licence to serve the city of Winchester and the surrounding villages when the opportunity arose for community radio bids for the South East of England back in October. Today, Ofcom have announced that the business case and bid put forward by Winchester Radio has been successful. The station now has 2 years to organise planning permission for and to install a transmitter and antenna, and to fundraise for the project. Both these activities will be priorities moving forward.

The charity is aiming to provide a broadcasting service, particularly for people aged 50+, and the music played will reflect this. Winchester Radio hopes to keep older people engaged with their local community, to promote healthier lifestyles, and help reduce loneliness and social isolation.

The service will be broadcast from the RHCH, where Winchester Radio is based now. Having an FM community radio licence means people will be able to tune in, in Winchester itself plus the surrounding villages within a 5km radius.

Chairman of Winchester Radio, Anna O’Brien said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this news from Ofcom as it will help us deliver wider public benefit to older people living in our communities, who may be feeling lonely or more vulnerable than in earlier years. We were told of Ofcom’s decision yesterday, but have had to keep it secret overnight which has been difficult because we are very excited to share this news with the people of Winchester! Yesterday in fact marked the birthday of the NHS, so hopefully as health and wellbeing will be a key part of our proposed new service, getting the good news on 5 July is auspicious! I’d like to express my thanks to my fellow trustees of Winchester Radio for all their time, research and hard work in putting the business case together for the community radio bid; the rest of our wonderful volunteers for their enthusiasm and continued commitment; and all the many people, charities, businesses and organisations who supported our application, especially Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We have a huge amount of work to do over the coming months to bring our vision of local radio for Winchester, from Winchester, by Winchester to realisation but we hope the people of Winchester will get behind us and support us”.

Winchester Radio is not recruiting new volunteers right now, but anyone wishing to assist the charity – particularly with fundraising, should call and leave a message on 01962 250143, or fill in the support form on the charity’s website. You can also make a donation via your mobile phone through JustTextGiving: simply text WINR44 and the amount £2/£5/£10 to 70070.

You can read more about Winchester Radio’s future plans on the charity’s website at:  http://winchesterradio.uk

Further details on Ofcom’s decision and announcement on the awarding of the community radio licence is available on their site at:

ENDS
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NOTES TO EDITORS ABOUT WINCHESTER RADIO AND THIS BID:

  1. Winchester Radio is a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation – registered with the Charity Commission in England & Wales, no. 1160752.
  2. Winchester Radio and its predecessor charity, Winchester Hospital Radio has provided a ward visiting and hospital radio service at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital for over 30 years.
  3. All of the team give their time for free as volunteers – a number of them are former patients who joined the charity on their recovery to help make a difference to others.
  4. The charity has 2 years from being granted the FM Community Radio Licence to get the new service on air.
  5. Winchester Radio then is granted the licence in line with Ofcom’s policy for Community Radios for a period of 5 years from the date of launch.
  6. Winchester Radio expects to launch the new service early in the summer of 2018.

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