Community radio station Ujima Radio has stopped live programmes after power was cut to its studios in Bristol.
The station says it stopped broadcasting on Tuesday after energy supplies were cut owing to landlords not paying the bills. Radio station chair Roger Griffith told the BBC it was “out of their control”.
Leaseholders Ceed claimed Ujima’s rent did not cover the amount of electricity the station used and hoped it would be restored by Monday. The power was switched off by supplier Utility Warehouse after they issued a court order for non-payment of bills.
Utility Warehouse said: “Unfortunately, the landlord has not paid for any of the electricity used in his entire building for a considerable time. We sympathise wholeheartedly with Ujima Radio and their listeners, but their dispute is with the landlord, not ourselves.”
Ujima Radio is based in a council-owned building which is let out to Ceed and a demonstration is planned outside the station at 10am today.
A statement on UjimaRadio.com says:
We regret to announce that Ujima Radio 98FM is currently off air until a situation entirely out of our control can be resolved. On Tuesday 11 March, at 13.00, the power supply to Ujima House, where the Ujima Studio is, was cut off. The landlords, Ceed Ltd, have not been paying the utility bills, despite the fact that Ujima Radio are fully up to date with all rent and rate payments. Ujima House is owned by Bristol City Council but leased to a company, Ceed Ltd, who act as landlords, renting the space to us. Ujima Radio have been paying rent and rates to the landlords, but, according to the court warden, the utility bills have not been paid for a long time.We are calling on Bristol City Council, as owners of Ujima House, to intervene and ensure that power is reinstated to the building so that Ujima Radio, and the other community organisations that rent space in the building, can operate again. We are asking all friends and listeners of Ujima Radio to join us at 10:00am on Friday 14th March in front of the station, to take a stand, show their support and urge the Council to take responsibility for their building and resolve the situation. A vital community service has been taken away and we need to ensure that it is now restored.Hear more radio industry news like this at the top of the hour on inRadio - the radio industry's very own radio station. Listen now in a new window whilst you continue reading RadioToday or press play below.