Ofcom has awarded a team of former Yorkshire Dales Radio people a licence to cover some of the National Park on a network of eight transmitters.
Dales Radio is fronted by Chris Parkin, a director of Yorkshire Dales Radio when it won the Skipton AM local radio licence. Other team members making up the new community group include Michael Powell, also a former director of YDR, former Programme Controller Mike Long, Julian Hotchkiss, MD of YDR takeover company Fresh Radio and Jeremy Gartland, a senior member of staff who helped convert the station to FM.
Dales Radio will cover Grassington, Hawes, Ingleton, Kirkby Stephen, Leyburn, Sedbergh, and Settle. Unlike the original Yorkshire Dales Radio, it won’t cover the towns of Skipton, Richmond and Pateley Bridge as these areas are already served by other stations.
In a statement to RadioToday, Dales Radio Chair Chris Parkin said: “The applicant group would like to thank all the many people, politicians, businesses and organisations that supported our application. It was this support that persuaded Ofcom this licence was necessary. We are delighted that the Dales will once again have a radio service covering its specific needs and is relevant to the Dales communities.
“Under the new community licence just awarded, as well as the AM coverage for whole of the Dales National Park, the towns listed above will also receive an FM service. The applicant group is looking forward to this exciting and very challenging opportunity. In the next few weeks will be formulating more detailed plans for the launch of this new and important service for the Dales communities.”
The Yorkshire Dales with Skipton local radio licence was transferred to UKRD in October last year, when the Skipton and Ilkley transmitters merged with Stray FM in Harrogate and the Richmond transmitter became part of Star Radio in Darlington.
Another group, Radio Skipton, missed out on a licence award during the same round of licensing yesterday. The station says they are “bitterly disappointed by the decision” and that they are now considering their options. Former Radio 1 controller Johnny Beerling is the chair of the company with radio executive John Evington steering the bid.
Stray FM will remain the only radio service for Skipton, as Group CEO William Rogers told us: “Stray FM provides a great local radio service for Skipton and we are delighted that we can continue to provide this to the local community as its number one and only local commercial station.”
Dales Radio said it would be ready to start broadcasting on AM almost immediately after the licence award, and has issued a new logo as “dales fm”.