A community radio group which gave back its licence to Ofcom before launching has explained the reason behind the move.
The Sound of Mull Community Radio says there is not enough funding available to finance the cost of two transmitters, plus access and other infrastructure costs.
The group is therefore looking at broadcasting online only, after winning a community radio licence over two years ago.
Speaking with RadioToday, the station said: “Basically the cost of two high-powered transmitters, associated access and other infrastructure costs, planning, ground rental and the licence costs were prohibitive- there’s just not enough funding out there currently to pay for these set up costs.
“We looked at reducing the spec. (and hence costs) but the benefits would be significantly reduced and hence we felt the project would not be worth pursuing. Sadly our isolated/rural situation is a major barrier here from a start-up cost perspective.”
On winning a licence, the station said “Sound of Mull Radio will serve the islanders living on the Isle of Mull & Iona. It will reflect the unique island life, culturally, linguistically and socially, and will give a voice to islanders.”
A station spokesperson continues: “The good news is that the project isn’t dead in the water… we’re now going down the internet route and piggy backing onto our local community Broadband project. By going down the internet route we can get ‘on air’ and start offering radio related training without such a huge capital outlay. Then we’ll see what the future brings in terms of the funding and FM development landscape’.
Around 25 community radio stations have ceased broadcasting in recent years, whilst over 200 are still on-air. The Government is expected to announce details of the new 2015 Community Radio Order tomorrow (Thursday 22nd January).