Tiny community station Radio Scilly has been given the title of South West Region Radio Station of the Year, under 300,000 TSA, on Tuesday night at a Radio Academy event in Bristol.
The station serves just 2100 residents on five of the Isles of Scilly and began broadcasting in September 2007. Islander and former presenter James Watt, now a Bristol resident, received the trophy on behalf of the team.
A panel of BBC and Commercial radio executives listened to a number of recordings of the Radio Scilly’s broadcasts and felt that the standard of the small St Mary’s station was [i]exceptionally high, engaging and locally relevant[/i].
In recent years this regional award has been given to BBC radio services, or stations operating as part of major commercial radio networks. This award makes Radio Scilly the second not-for-profit community station in the UK to win such an award.
Keri Jones, Managing Director, told RadioToday.co.uk: "When we started Radio Scilly we promised that we’d create a radio station that our islands could be proud of. Visitors associate the Isles of Scilly with high quality and we were not prepared to go on-air sounding like a cheap, tin pot operation, as we know we’re representing our islands to online listeners worldwide. We’ve worked hard to sound just as good as bigger mainland networks and this recognition from our industry means a great deal to our team. We would not have achieved such a major award without the support and involvement of our community and our exceptionally talented volunteer broadcasters. They, like our islands, are the best in Britain.”
The news comes just weeks after another community radio station, Life FM in North West London, was judged the capital's best in the same Radio Academy awards.
The 12 regional finalists will now be considered for the UK station of the year title at the Sony Awards in London on May 11th 2009.