Stroud FM plans for the future
FRESH plans to bring Stroud FM out of troubled financial waters are in place as the community radio station looks forward to extending its broadcasting range to Nailsworth.
The volunteer-run station was on the verge of going off the airwaves more than a year ago until financial backers, including green energy firm Ecotricity and Stroud Town Council, stepped in to help.
Now Stroud FM chairman Allan Berry said, although not cash-rich, the station is on a firm financial footing, has a new five-year licence from industry regulator Ofcom and plans are being made to raise £3,000 for a new transmitter.
If it can move the transmitter from the top of its studios in Stroud High Street to Selsley Common it will be able to transmit on 107.9FM to Nailsworth.
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Currently, the signal peters out in North Woodchester, which means listeners towards the south of the Five Valleys miss out. The station is broadcast online.
"We have permission from Ofcom to move the transmitter to Selsley Common but we have to raise £3,000 to move it and that will be extra money which will need to be raised," said Allan, who spent his career working in marketing and public relations.
"We are not using that money as part of running Stroud FM.
"It brings in quite an important area – Nailsworth – and we have never been able to get the signal there before. Clearly, the bigger the audience the better."
The station went on the airwaves on a permanent basis in March 2008 after broadcasting alongside the town's Fringe Festival in previous years.
The station has trained 350 people in broadcasting and IT skills, including children, youth club members, recovering addicts and the long-term unemployed.
It has around 56 DJs broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
All that came within hours of ending in September 2011 when the station almost ran out of money. Thanks to the council, Ecotricity and fundraising events, it scraped enough money together to continue.