Purbeck Coast community radio station axed

The plug is to be pulled on the popular local radio station Purbeck Coast 101.2 FM based on Swanage Pier, due to, “a lack of funding and practical pressures”.

The project was started in 2017 as a hub for the community and as a media training facility for young people, providing new opportunities for volunteers, funded by substantial donations and community grants.

Purbeck Coast radio station

Presenter David Hollister launched the live station on Monday 12th August 2019 at 10 am, interviewing Mike Bonfield, who was Swanage town mayor at the time

Live broadcasting since 2019

Following its initial success, Ofcom granted Swanage Pier Trust an FM licence in 2019, which allowed Purbeck Coast, run by station manager Michelle Langthorne, to broadcast live across Purbeck providing music, entertainment and local news.

After an initial stoppage due to the Covid pandemic, the station was able to get back on its feet with its team of volunteer presenters broadcasting from home. However in 2023 the Swanage Pier Trust warned that the radio station was finding it hard to get new funding.

With the Ofcom licence up for renewal during 2024, the Swanage Pier Trust has decided to close the station down rather than seek a new licence.

Purbeck Coast presenter Caroline Gray with colleagues on local radio day at Swanage Co-op

Purbeck Coast presenters worked hard to raise more funds and increase the profile of the community radio station

“Reluctantly taken the decision to close Purbeck Coast FM”

In a statement the Swanage Pier Trust said:

“Following the report in October last year, Purbeck Coast FM has been struggling due to a lack of funding and practical pressures.

“Despite everyone’s best efforts it has not been possible to resolve these issues. The Swanage Pier Trust has therefore reluctantly taken the decision to close Purbeck Coast FM.

“Sadly the pandemic and the cost of living crisis had a huge effect on the station’s day-to-day operating costs, as well as its inability to secure sponsorship from local businesses, who are also feeling the effect.

“Swanage Pier Trust is extremely grateful to our station manager and the incredible team of over 40 volunteers who have worked tirelessly on this project from the beginning, which has earned them recognition in two categories at the national Community Radio Awards.”

Community Radio Awards 2021
Vincent Lo

Recognition for Purbeck Coast 101.2 FM was achieved at the Community Radio Awards

“It is a great disappointment”

Purbeck Coast 101.2 FM will continue on air until Thursday 15th February 2024.

It’s not yet known what will happen to the studio and its equipment, paid for largely by community grants.

Swanage Pier Trust chief executive, Ben Adeney added:

“As the founder of the project, it is a great disappointment that we were unable to secure the support we needed for the station to continue. We would like to thank all the volunteers, members of the public, local businesses and organisations for their support over the years.”

Further information

  • More about Purbeck Coast 101.2 FM is on its website

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