The Shaftesbury news reports and local information that you listen to on ThisIsAlfred.com could soon be broadcast on air, on a new FM radio station.
Today (3rd September), the Alfred team has learned that Ofcom, the broadcast regulator, will invite applications for a new community radio service provider in Shaftesbury and the surrounding villages.
Back in 2017, Ofcom asked for radio groups to register an ‘expression of interest’ in areas currently unserved by community radio.
The Alfred team, under their original name of Radio Shaftesbury, was the only group to state their interest in providing a radio service for the town. Today Ofcom has confirmed that they will soon accept licence applications for the Shaftesbury area.
Keri Jones, project manager of ThisIsAlfred.com says that the radio service would be based in Shaftesbury and would be operated as a not-for-profit community service, without shareholders.
“Throughout the summer, ThisIsAlfred.com has been testing our programme ideas by making weekly radio programmes that showcase the positive things that are happening around the Shaftesbury area.
“We’ve been working closely with important local organisations including Shaftesbury Arts Centre, Shaftesbury Fringe, Shaftesbury Chamber of Commerce and Gold Hill Museum to highlight all the good things happening in our area.
“The response has been overwhelming. We’re convinced that there is demand for a radio station, which showcases all the great things happening in Shaftesbury. I’m really excited that we could soon be offering a quality service that puts Shaftesbury first.”
Keri says that the team of volunteers who will drive the Alfred project forward will be announced soon, but there’s always room for more people to get involved.
“Before we finalise our radio licence application, we’re looking to expand our coverage of local ‘good news’ stories on our podcasts this autumn. We’ve been approached by a number of local people who would love to make podcasts, radio features and carry out interviews.
“I’ll be offering free training workshops for locals who want to join our team of programme and podcast makers. Any SP7 area resident, of any age, who doesn’t have professional media experience is welcome to get in touch.”
Keri has 31 years professional radio experience. He set up and managed award winning commercial radio stations in West Wales and operated a successful community radio station for nine years.
“Shaftesbury is small but the not-for-profit station I operated used to serve just 2,000 people. Shaftesbury is four times that size. Alfred Radio would rely on volunteers who are passionate about Shaftesbury. Nobody would be paid and that means that costs would be low, so the station would be viable and sustainable.”
If you would like to get involved with Alfred and you would like training in making podcasts, reports, features and interviews, email firstname.lastname@example.org.