Wirral Radio closes due to financial issues

Merseyside station Wirral Radio has surprised listeners and the industry by announcing its immediate closure today.

The station closed at 10am after the announcement on Breakfast.

A post on social media said: “Thank you so much for all your lovely comments regarding our very sad news today. Thank you all for your support over the years, it has been greatly appreciated. #WeWereWirral”

Wirral Radio says financial pressure was the reason for the closure. It was broadcasting under an FM community radio licence but also paid for DAB space on the local commercial multiplex.

It started life in 2003 as 7Waves Community Radio using a 28 day licence, and started full time in 2008. It rebranded to Wirral Radio in 2014.

The final song was ‘Goodbye’ by The Spice Girls followed by a station jingle.

Here’s a statement from the station:

It is with regret we announce the news that due to financial pressures Wirral Radio will close and cease broadcasting from 10am on Friday 9th February 2018.

Wirral Radio has served Wirral for 15 years and played a part in many people’s lives. This has been through volunteer opportunities in broadcasting and other areas of Wirral Radio. Also through employment and placements, we also supported many younger generations via The Academy. We have witnessed many success stories involving Academy members finding employment in the field of their choice. Another major achievement is Wirral Radio has contributed to over £5million pounds worth of social return during our time operating.

Wirral is a wonderful place and somewhere to be incredibly proud of. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us over the years, especially our volunteers, clients and listeners.

Wirral WRAP is unaffected by the closure and will continue to operate at the Wirral Media Centre.

Here’s the final breakfast show:

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  1. Radio Geordie says

    Something doesn’t add up here. They could afford to broadcast on DAB, but then there was suddenly no money.
    Sounds a bit dodgy doesn’t it?

  2. David says

    Perhaps they will, and should broadcasting continue online? No crippling radio licence fees and truckloads of ‘accompanying’ and unnecessary terms and conditions to constantly comply with. Most things ‘radio’ are now done online, so that’s the way for Wirral Radio to go, David

  3. Kenny allen says

    Will miss the Tranmere rovers commentary’s with higgy and co,pure magic.

  4. Paul Bexfield says

    A great shame and totally unexpected
    Though out of area I listened often as I can pick that mux in Manchester
    My best wishes to all the staff and fingers crossed it can be relaunched in the not too distant future

  5. Paul Bexfield says

    A great shame and totally unexpected
    Though out of area I listened often as I can pick that mux in Manchester
    My best wishes to all the staff and fingers crossed it can be relaunched in the not too distant future

  6. Stephen barnes says

    I can pick that up in Oldham.prefer it to the Manchester offerings on dab. Its back on they thanked someone for help.sounds like they’ve had donations.

  7. rich says

    not a shame because all of a sudden its back up and running. weird or what.

  8. Wirral Tax Payer says

    They are stretching the truth somewhat by claiming they are a community station! That was a couple years back. They have been very much a pseudo commercial station playing mostly pre~recorded popular music, little community engagement. Their claim of putting £5m back in social return needs close scrutiny… They have received bucket loads of EU monies and no doubt acquired the assets purchased with the cash to try and go commercial. Advertising shopping malls and PPI claims is hardly community. Love to see their business plan! Public money spent should be transparent to all to see where it went.

    1. Bobby Loop says

      Think you’re asking a lot. If you want such stations to survive they have to attract listeners. Music, delivered by local volunteer/presenters, local news, entertainment and frequent reference to what is going on in local community is what builds an audience. Not droning on about what the local council is doing to keep kids off the street and how great they are at emptying the bins -or not. (You can, of course, cover/talk/feature that stuff but more subtly and creatively).

      Running commercial output to achieve a social gain should be viewed as a good thing – and will meet community expectations – or should. Without an audience, you’re broadcasting fresh air.

      Without money (from donations, advertising and sponsorship you’re not going to get those important messages over).

      The Big Stations shouldn’t care as they are whacking out formulaic ‘hits’ to win national advertising. There is space for local/community stations to be local again and win business locally – proving radio’s ability to help small business and community enterprise grow.

      If you need money however – golden rule – don’t upset ANY of your potential partners.

  9. Stephen barnes says

    Still online gone off dab again

  10. Harold Ramsbottom says

    For the record, 7 Waves Radio (which later transformed into Wirral Radio) back in 2005 received £1.037 million of European Union grant funding to facilitate the development of its premises at the Leasowe Community Centre.

    Another positive development to the local culture and economy thanks to the European Union which would not have been made by the Westminster government.

  11. Jake says

    A huge community station across Merseyside, still has an output so something tells me there is hope of a return. Looks like they are trying to deal with a resolvable issue, still worries me as a community radio presenter though!

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