The 12 winners of the Nations and Regions Awards 2014 have been announced by the Radio Academy.
And half of last year’s winners have managed to keep hold of their titles by winning again this year.
The full list of winners can be found below, but include last year’s winners Sun FM, KLFM, Siren, BCB, MFR and Calon FM are also celebrating this year. It’s also congratulations to Radio Wanno, Scratch Radio, Angel Radio, BCfm and KCC Live.
The aim of these awards is to celebrate programming that caters for the needs of a local audience, recognising the passion, commitment and outstanding content of UK local radio.
Jon Kirby, Smooth Radio Programme Controller for Communicorp UK and Chairman of the 2014 Nations and Regions Awards Judging Panel said: “It was a great honour and privilege to judge such a broad range of fantastic stations. The overall standard was incredibly high this year within every branch, and all of the stations who didn’t win should be very proud of their entries.
“Thanks to the judging panel of Phil Gibbons, Sarah Grun, Jackie Neill, Stuart Barrie and Will Wilkin who debated long and hard over the winners and in several cases revisited entries to ensure we got it right, and to Riza Jones for once again pulling it all together at The Radio Academy.
“What leapt out of the entries universally was the passion, dedication and ambition that runs through all of the programming elements and this is what makes the Nations & Regions Awards so very special.
“Many congratulations to all of the winners; you were the best of a very good bunch and we hope that all the effort and dedication you give to your stations continues to be recognised within The Radio Academy in the future.”
Stations with a TSA of under 300,000 are able to enter, and if they win, get free entry into the Station of the Year category at the next Radio Academy Awards. However, the next Radio Academy Awards 2015 were cancelled earlier this month, meaning branch winners will not go forward in the usual way to the national awards ceremony.
The 2014 winning stations are, along with judges comments:
East Anglia – KL.FM 96.7
A lively and informative station that connected with its community with powerful news coverage and engaging, heartfelt content that really drew the listener in. The judges were particularly impressed with the comprehensive coverage of the local floods.
East Midlands – Siren 107.3FM
An ambitious and bold station with a broad scope of content that has appeal beyond its student community. From in-depth debates and investigative interviews, to an accessible music and entertainment proposition, Siren works hard to deliver a well-rounded output.
London & South East – Radio Wanno
A tough category to judge with very strong entries. Radio Wanno edged it by inspiring its listeners to affect change through well-produced, thought-provoking content which is consistently informative and engaging.
Midlands – Scratch Radio
Full of energy and attitude, Scratch Radio understands its student audience and delivered an entry crammed with content, including a very entertaining feature on their sister city Chicago. Always lively and focused, Scratch is a station in great form.
North East – Sun FM
A great example of a station with its TSA at its core, Sun knows how to own the city of Sunderland with relevant local content and competitions. A real sense of fun and regional humour gives the station a well-deserved place in its listeners hearts.
North West – KCC Live
The North West was without doubt the toughest category to judge with so many strong entries from a broad range of terrific stations. Huge credit to KCC Live for winning through with a product that caters perfectly for its audience through compelling local content served with a sense of fun and at all times vibrant and ambitious.
Northern Ireland – BBC Radio Foyle
A consistently strong station that knows how to handle big stories comprehensively and in depth. A genuine passion runs through the entire output, handling tough and complex stories with authority. The judges were particularly impressed with the fascinating Grayson Perry interview.
Scotland – Moray Firth Radio
Clearly an essential part of its community, Moray Firth Radio informs and entertains its audience, bringing them together in a geographically large patch. Demonstrating local expertise at all times, the station showed great variety delivered in a fun and entertaining way.
South – Angel Radio
A station with its own unique place and purpose, Angel Radio celebrates the past in a warm and inclusive way and is clearly adored within its target demographic. With a charming mix of fun, nostalgia and practical support for its listeners, the station serves a very powerful purpose in bringing together a community and giving them a place to belong.
South West – BCfm
A great listen with big ambitions, Bristol Community FM delivered brave programming with creativity and an appetite for the unusual. The judges were impressed with the items from Brazil, which began as a fun idea but then delved into the reality and challenges of living there.
Wales – Calon FM
Calon FM is a charming and fun station, serving its audience in a fully inclusive way. Balancing sport, music and community content, this is a great example of local radio delivered with passion and truly in tune with its area.
Yorkshire – BCB 106.6fm
Fast, fun and lively, BCB 106.6fm is never afraid to challenge. The interview with the successful UKIP councillor was outstanding and underlines the bravery running through the station. A real feel of being at the heart of its community, with a broad range of content, this is a station oozing confidence.