Chorley FM has closed down after surrendering licence

Chorley FM has closed down and handed its community radio licence back to Ofcom after almost 20 years of operating.

The station started on temporary licences in 2000 before being granted a full-time community licence in 2005 and launching on 102.8FM in 2006.

The Managing Director of the station, Stuart Clutton, posted a troubled message on Facebook on August 1st saying the studio had been locked and that no live programmes were permitted. He said: “With immediate effect and until further notice there will be no live broadcasts permitted. The studio and equipment is now out of bounds and only authorised people have access.

“Please do not enter the studio and utilise any equipment as this may be deemed as unauthorised usage. Access to the studio or any use of facilities at Chorley FM, including equipment, is withdrawn until further notice. Further updates will be issued.”

The station’s website content has now gone offline and nobody at the station has responded to RadioToday when asked for a comment. Social media accounts have also been removed.

An Ofcom spokesperson confirmed: “Chorley FM has stopped broadcasting following the surrender of its community radio licence on Wednesday 14 August.”

Former MD of the station, Donna Beckett posted a message on Facebook this week after the transmitter was turned off. It said: “I resigned from the board due to ill-health in July of last year.

“I stayed on as an advertiser and supporter for a few months, but then felt the need to sever all ties with the station in December last year as I was very concerned about the way the station was being run.

“It is pretty unbelievable to think that less than a year ago the work of the station was recognised at the Community Radio Awards, and now the station is no more.”

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13 Comments
  1. Alan Hall says

    Real shame this station has now gone for good.
    I do hope the current station owner will do the best thing
    and donate all the studio equipment to Bristol BCFM
    so as to help them build a new broadcast studio following
    their devastating fire.
    Chorley FM will no longer need the use of the studio equipment,
    So, do the best thing and donate it to BCFM.

    1. Abbie says

      If the company is going into liquidation, the equipment will need to be sold to pay creditors. You can’t just give it away.

      1. Radio Geordie says

        Not sure if that would be the case here as generally, community radio company’s are ran as a not-for-profit company.

        1. Nicholas Hartounian says

          There is no mention in the article or on Companies House (yet) that Chorley FM Ltd has gone into liquidation – just that they have handed their licence back to Ofcom.

          However, as a private limited company (by guarantee in this case) the liquidator has the power to dispose of the company’s assets and distribute any money to the creditors – who may include the landlord, HMRC, utility company, advertisers & sponsors, etc. – but not before any outstanding staff wages are paid (preferential creditors) up to a maximum of £800. (plus their holiday pay).

  2. Marc says

    Can Chorley FM be saved at all? Is there any appeal period to reverse the surrendering of the licence?

  3. Radio Geordie says

    The Scotts Radio Website is suggesting it may be down to sexual assault claims as to why the station’s handed its licence back.

    1. Mr Boltar says

      You don’t shut down an entire station because of that rather than just get the police to feel someones collar. Radio 1 would have been shut down years ago otherwise! Given the message from the MD I would suggest someone has thrown their toys out the pram then thrown the pram over a cliff.

      1. Radio Geordie says

        The final line in that story read as:
        “Whilst it is not known if the two events are linked, the investigation may have contributed to the stations closure.”
        It certainly seems to suggest that it is the reason.

        There was an instance back in the late 1990’s involving Red Rose’s former owner (Oysten) who had been accused of rape. The Radio Authority revoked all his licences apart from The Bay (which had just been sold) under the phrase “not a fit & proper person”.

        The same thing may well apply here.

        1. Radio Geordie says

          Forgot to add, the reason that Saville & co got away with what they did was down to the BBC management keeping it quiet. Not just the BBC management in Saville’s case as he had pedo friends in high places.

          1. Joe Smith says

            Can you provide more details of his “pedo friends in high places”?

            Thought not.

  4. LUCAS CAMPBELL says

    I’m saddened to hear of the final demise of Chorley FM radio which has now gone off air. I was one of the original community radio licence applicants along with Christian Moss, Tony Booth and Tom Fawcett who were successful in getting a community radio licence for Chorley, a process that started back in 2002 which was based upon my initial suggestion to apply for a local broadcast licence. Also the input and guidance of Chorley Council’s Chris Mellor must not be forgotten. Chris along with myself attended with the OFCOM seminar in Manchester for Community Radio groups which offered us invaluable advice for the radio licence application.There now needs to be a Community Radio review by OFCOM as to the future financing of these stations in the hope that all involved can be paid for their services as it is totally impractical to run a radio station without offering any financial incentive to those involved.

  5. Rob Charles says

    Why didn’t the owner offer to someone else before handing it back?

  6. Radio Geordie says

    Yes Joe Smith (if that is your real name), I can.
    There were plenty documentaries about him not long after it came out he was a pedo. Although names weren’t mentioned, his friends in high places who were moving around in the same circles (and known to each other) included High Court Judges, High Ranking Police Officers, Politicians & other rich people in positions of power. The same sort of people who helped Cyril Smith MP get away with it.

    Whilst I never said that anyone at the BBC were, they were certainly aware of what he was doing as it happened whenever he was doing Top of the Pops, and they chose to cover it up.

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