Salford’s community radio station is to start charging its volunteers an annual fee of around £26 because of cuts in grant funding.
The Salford Star reports that the station, which marks 7 years on air this week, has lost £15,000 of income from Salford City Council. This year the station received £56,000 from the local authority and a council report shows than in 2012/13 the station brought in 7% of its funding through advertising.
It’s reported that the council says the £15,000 cut should be made up by ‘increasing commercial advertising revenue by £6,000 per year, finding grant funding of £5,000 a year, holding fundraising events to make £2,000 a year – and introducing “service user fees” to make a further £2,000 a year.’
The station has 87 volunteers. It’s understood the fees charged to volunteers will be around £26 per year, or 50p per week, depending on circumstances.
“We regret this of course and will need to deal with the cuts as best we can”, Station Manager Paul Barber told the Salford Star. “We understand the Council have to make cuts because of the loss of funds from central Government.
“We have a 25% reduction which gives us some time to enable us to become more self-sufficient; a move many Community Radio stations are doing nationally. This cut will be offset by a combination of increased commercial activity, fundraising, grant applications such as the Community Radio Fund and implementing member fees for our volunteers.
“It is common for Community Radio stations that are, or looking, to become self-funding to have fees in place but we have been lucky enough to be able to mostly avoid it due to our public funds. It was implemented a few years ago when we received a cut but we managed to reduce our running costs the following year allowing us to put a hold on it until now.
“Those who volunteer with us love what they do for the community and their own development in terms of media skills. Their individual contributions, in conjunction with general fundraising ventures, will assist in ensuring we have a continued quality service broadcasting to over 30,000 people every month, developing careers, delivering training and providing a much needed platform for many local projects and initiatives to promote their services In addition, we are ramping up our commercial advertising options so would welcome any of your readers to get in touch if they have a business to promote.”