Listeners log on to community radio

AN online community radio station will soon be taking to the air waves after getting the go-ahead for a month-long FM licence.

Koast Radio, which is based at Longhirst Hall and serves south east Northumberland, has secured the trial after raising £7,000 for the licence fee, hire of equipment and music licence.

More than half the cash, £4,000, was provided by UK Coal in a grant from its Potland Burn Community Trust Fund, while Northumberland County Council awarded £2,000 from its Community Chest. The rest came from sponsorship.

The station will broadcast on FM for 28 days from Friday, August 26, focusing on the theme healthy body, healthy mind.

Station Manager Vicky Oakley said: “We will be having guests in the studio to talk about health related issues, as well as organising community activities.

“We are going to have a lot of fun. It’s radio how it used to be, music and great presenters with brilliant personalities.”

Following the trial, the station will return to online broadcasts, but it hopes to carry out another FM trial early next year and apply for a full licence in summer 2012.

Ms Oakley said: “Without the help from UK Coal and our other sponsors we would not be in the position to be able to apply for the full-time FM licence for next summer so we have much to thank them for.”

UK Coal Project Manager Peter Wood said: “Koast was something interesting, something we had not given to before, an influential project offering help to the community and improving employment opportunities in the area.”