Since Friday evening, Gloucester?s multi ethnic community was once again able to tune into a radio station dedicated to reflecting the city?s diverse nature. Gloucester FM (GFM) began broadcasting its unique blend of news, information and black music, 24 hours a day, on 96.6FM after being granted a full time community radio licence from Ofcom last year.
Established in 1999, GFM was the brainchild of Derrick Francis and Simme Ranks who felt that Gloucester?s black and minority ethnic community were underserved by the local mainstream radio. Determined to change this, they approached Paul Johnson and Carol Francis to form a voluntary management committee and despite numerous setbacks, GFM was granted a restricted service license and had its first broadcast during October of 2000. It returned in subsequent years and after applying for a full time license in 2004, GFM became one of 61 community radio stations awarded a license in the UK at the end of 2005.
Chairperson Derrick Francis said, ?I am absolutely delighted, we have all been working toward this moment. I?m ecstatic not just for the presenters, volunteers and the board of Directors but also for the community, because without their support we might not have carried on after our equipment was stolen in 2002.
?I must say a special, special thank you to all of GFM?s volunteers and presenters past and present and everyone of the community who have emailed, phoned, or texted us whilst we were on and off air to offer support. With the people for the people, GFM serving the community with music, news, information and advice is the aim and we will be doing our very best to deliver it, we know it won?t be easy but we?re up for it?.