Swanage Pier Trust which runs Purbeck Coast 101.2 FM, says the community radio station is struggling to continue due to a lack of funding and is now looking for a new financial solution.
The radio station, which broadcasts live from the pier, was started in 2017 as a project to provide a new opportunity for volunteers and a broadcast training facility for young people, while acting as a hub for the local community, local charities, organisations, schools, businesses and individuals.
The community radio station’s first broadcast was by David Hollister on Monday 12th August 2019
Financial support of the National Lottery Community Fund
Swanage Pier Trust says that as interest grew, it became apparent that the station needed a manager and in the absence of a volunteer, the trust applied for further funding to support the new post and the station’s ongoing costs.
With financial support of several organisations including the National Lottery Community Fund, an application was successfully submitted to the regulator Ofcom, leading to Purbeck Coast’s first official broadcast on 101.2 FM on Monday 12th August 2019.
Since then, under the guidance of its manager, the trust says that the station has gone from strength to strength and has become well established within the local community.
There’s now more than 40 volunteers giving up their time to broadcast, to help train young people from local schools and to support people in the community at outreach groups in local village halls.
Purbeck Coast getting out and about in the community with the presenter the Flying G interviewing the Swanage Town Mayor Tina Foster
“Extremely difficult to meet the growing costs of the station”
In a statement the trust said:
“The Swanage Pier Trust has continued to work with local sponsors and apply for funding wherever possible to support the station but despite the immense efforts of the trust team to maintain the income, it has now become extremely difficult to meet the growing costs of the station and the unprecedented increases in recent years, associated with maintaining the pier itself.
“Unless a financial solution can be identified in the near future, the station may be forced to close in the new year.”
The radio station had only been on air for a few months when presenters like Thelma Deacon were forced to broadcast from home as the Covid pandemic closed everything down
“A national pandemic and a cost of living crisis”
Swanage Pier Trust chief executive, Ben Adeney, added:
“A national pandemic and a cost of living crisis have had a profound effect on our ability to secure enough funds to keep the station running.
“Our amazing team of dedicated volunteers are working tirelessly behind the scenes with us to try and find a solution. We would be enormously grateful for any members of the community who might be able to help or get involved.”
The top spec radio studio based on Swanage Pier