Community radio networking group to launch

A new networking group for community radio stations is launching soon in the south east and London.

The Radio Hub will aim to provide opportunities for networking and sharing best practice as well as representing the interests of community radio with key organisations.

It has been set up by community radio director Danny Lawrence BEM, from Basildon-based Gateway 97.8. He was inspired to set up Radio Hub after attending a tenth anniversary of Community licences networking event at 103 The Eye in February 2015.

Danny tells RadioToday: “With the rise of interest in community radio and new stations launching in the southern region I feel it is important to make sure we have good lines of communication between us all. That way we can make sure we are all learning from each other for the collective good. I am deeply passionate about what community radio achieves and very much looking forward to working with the other stations.”

The Hub will work with other sector organisations such as The Community Media Association and The Community Radio Foundation which is being developed to offer funding solutions to community radio.

Membership is free and open to all community radio organisations and round 20 organisations have signed up already.

Bill Best, Operations Manager at the Community Media Association is supporting the venture: “The CMA welcomes this new regional initiative from the sector. With fewer resources available in community broadcasting, initiatives such as this networking hub is one way that our members and other sector players can pull together, pool resources, and share skills and expertise. This networking hub is the first regional event of 2016 that the CMA will be supporting and we look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with the sector in this way”.

The Hub launches on Saturday 20th February at Gateway 97.8. Funding will be a theme with a presentation from Radio Response’s David Harbour. Also speaking is Dom Chambers who says: “As community radio becomes an ever stronger force in UK broadcasting so we must build our networks and representation. With around one third of community licenses covered by the area of the new hub I welcome this initiative and really look forward to working with it.”

David Harber adds: “There is nothing in any legislation that says community radio stations can’t acquire a majority audience or procure a healthy income. We hand-pick stations that understand that the future of ‘broadcast-radio’ is in the hands of licensees that treat their radio station as a business.

“We look forward to making certain ‘third-tier’ radio stations not only survive, but also a viable marketplace success”.

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