Ofcom has awarded four new community radio licences to groups in the north west of England today, whilst rejecting five more. Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire and Staffordshire will all gain additional services whilst four out of the five rejections were in Cheshire along with Southport Community Radio.
Knowsley in Merseyside gains a second station with the granting of a licence to KCC Live, Moorlands Radio in Biddulph wins after a long campaign, Rossendale Radio fills the gap for a station in Lancashire's Rossendale Valley and Canalside Radio in Macclesfield gets the green light after a long campaign.
Nick Wright is the station manager of Canalside Radio and his initial reactions were of delight: "After four years hard work Canalside has finally achieved its goal – the chance to bring to East Cheshire a truly outstanding community radio service that is run on a 'not for profit' basis," said the delighted former commercial radio presenter whose brainchild has now become reality.
Rossendale Radio is a new group set up just over 12 months ago to provide a service in Lancashire's Rossendale Valley. Project coordinator Tony Nixon is hoping to be on-air by next summer: "This is a massive boost to the local community groups and businesses within The Valley. Their voices can finally be heard. There are exciting times ahead, and we invite everyone to be involved in whatever way they can."
Team member Paul Teague: "We have worked hard to get this far, and realise that there is going to be a lot more to do. We won't rest until we've delivered a radio service that the people of The Valley can be proud of."
The rejected Cheshire applications were Kat FM in Crewe and Nantwich, Halt FM in Altrincham, CCM in Congleton and Tatton FM in the Alderley Edge area.