Orkney and Caithness’s community radio station The Superstation has ceased broadcasting after seven years on-air.
A message posted on Facebook this morning announced the news to fans, giving just a couple of hours notice. The post said: “After 7 years on the air in Orkney and Caithness The Super Station will cease broadcasting at 12 today. Thanks to everyone who supported us throughout the years.”
Superstation was founded in 2005 and launched three years later with an Ofcom community radio licence serving Orkney Islands and Caithness, taking its name from the original “Super Station” which operated from Manchester in the 80s/90s.
The first broadcasts came from the former Laser 558 ship MV Communicator, berthed at St Margaret’s Hope.
The station says a lack of public funding and advertising revenue has forced it off-air. The website says “Advertising packages on The Super Station Orkney can start from as little as £25 per week!”
Founder/Director Dave Miller told RadioToday: “It is with deep regret that The Super Station Orkney CIC has ceased trading. Over the past couple of years we have seen dwindling advertising revenue and a lack of public funding made available to us. We would like to thank all of our local advertisers, listeners and supporters over the past seven years.”
There are over 200 not-for-profit community radio stations on-air across the UK but the closure of Superstation marks the 22nd station to close down in recent years, and RadioToday understands a 23rd station will be making a similar announcement very soon.
The Government launched a consultation on the future funding model of community radio in March 2014 but the results have yet to be published.
Speaking in the house of commons, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “We want to consider how we can relax some of the rules and restrictions on how community radio is funded. It is a consultation that the community radio community has long called for. We think that restrictions are still needed to preserve the distinctive characteristics of community radio and ensure that small commercial radio stations are not adversely affected.
“It will enable us to assess the extent to which rules can be relaxed to give community radio more scope to raise funding, and to help the sector’s long-term sustainability.”