The Bee applicant group, which has been campaigning for eight years to bring a highly-focused service of local news, information and entertainment, with music of wide appeal, to the Blackburn and Darwen area, has confirmed that it will be applying for the licence just announced by Ofcom.
Major shareholders are The Radio Business and 2BR, which operates in neighbouring Burnley and Pendle.
After becoming the first group to run a Restricted Service Licence station in the area more than three years ago, The Bee has followed up with another successful pilot broadcast and has maintained a high-profile presence on the local scene, carrying out extensive local consultation.
In addition to nationally-recognised media professionals, The Bee, which is the station name of the Blackburn Broadcasting Company, has a board which includes well-known and respected local figures and a strong shareholding within the area.
The Bee is chaired by Tony Egan, an accountant who ran his own firm in Blackburn for 25 years, and held senior positions at both national and regional level in a wide range of professional and local organisations. The board includes Blackburn and Darwen radio pioneer Roy Martin, who managed both of The Bee’s RSLs; and Dr. Iqbal Memon, well-known for his involvement in clinical practice, education and research, and a number of community development projects.
TRB is represented by its founder, Lynn Bell, who was already heavily involved in the East Lancashire broadcasting scene. Mark Matthews, Managing Director of 2BR, which was recently acquired by The Local Radio Company; and radio consultant Tom Beesley, who chairs the Broadcast Journalism Training Council and has strong family ties in the area, are also on the board.