Norfolk’s Wayland Radio is to cease broadcasting at the end of this week – exactly two years to the day since it launched.
Bosses at the community station have told Radio Today the decision was taken because of a lack of money in the bank and the increasing difficulty to get grants because of the public sector cuts.
The station – covering places including Watton and Swaffham had previously received funding through organisations such as Breckland Council. It had run five RSL broadcasts over a period of three years prior to being awarded a full-time community radio licence by Ofcom.
As with the majority of community radio licences, only 50 percent of its funding is permitted to come from advertising and sponsorship.
Station Manager Dave Hatherly told RadioToday.co.uk: “Over the last few months we have found it impossible to get revenue grants to support our project, a sign of the times. With annual fees to pay and no money in the bank, we financially cannot continue.”
Dave says the team set out to provide a quality service to the area, to challenge the established radio stations and show that local radio can be provided in a different way. He’s told us the audience haven’t really grasped the idea that they’re not “commercial” and run by a talented team of volunteers – itself a measure of the station’s success.
He added:”The reality is that we live in a bankrupt world and radio is a luxury. We’ve not ruled out having another go in three years or so, when the world may be a different place, but at the moment the world can’t afford community grants. I think we will be the first of many community stations to close as community radio is something that is unaffordable in this current financial climate.”