Garrison Radio's community radio licence for Colchester has been extended for another five years.
The FM station went on air originally in May 2006 to complement its medium wave transmission to Wattisham, and nearby Bassingbourn and Woodbridge.
Peter Bailey, a director of Colchester Army Radio Limited, says it is terrific news: "The radio station plays a vital role keeping soldiers in touch with their families whilst serving abroad. Garrison FM is a regular fixture in Colchester, forging strong links between the Army and the town. Who can forget Father Christmas arriving in style on a tank at the Williams & Griffin department store?"
Programmes are presented by a team of volunteers and staff led by experienced journalist and broadcaster Liz Mullen, who joined Garrison FM three and a half years ago from the BBC. "The station has come such a long way since its beginnings in 2001," says Liz, who presents the breakfast show every weekday. "I feel privileged to be the regional representative for the Army's own radio station. It’s all immensely rewarding. Before Christmas I was out at Camp Bastion, recording, editing and sending back more than 60 interviews for Garrison FM, mainly from our own 16 Air Assault Brigade personnel. A memorable experience."
Garrison FM Managing Director Mark Page said the unique combination of Army and local information was key to the station’s success: “For example, a local radio station can excel during periods of bad weather and Garrison FM is no exception, as listeners turn to the station for local and garrison news. This was reflected in our website hits, which went up to 75,000 for December. Now we also upload local information to Facebook as another outlet for the information we gather primarily for radio."
Peter Bailey himself presents a weekly rock and blues specialist music show on Garrison FM and added: "The feedback I get from listeners about the radio station is very positive and satisfying. So it’s terrific news and a great tribute to the radio station and it's listeners that Ofcom has renewed Garrison FM license for five more years."