12th December (2020) saw the winners of the 2020 Community Radio Awards crowned. The event was held by means of virtual ceremony, like many events of the year, allowing more volunteers to attend from the comfort of their own homes.
The event was hosted Sam Day from Norwich community station Future Radio, with a variety of awards handed out in categories including Volunteer of the Year, Young Person of the Year, and Specialist Music Show of the Year.
Among the highlights included Bro Radio, winning the Gold award for station of the year, with Riverside Radio winning the equivalent award for Digital or RSL* Station of the Year.
The night was also a successful one for Andover Radio presenter Luis Wyatt, who picked up two awards over the course of the evening.
The full list of winners can be found on the Community Radio Awards website.
* RSL stands for restricted service license, an Ofcom license which permits a station to broadcast on FM or MW for normally up to 28 days. These services often operate for an event or a religious festival such as Ramadan.
This weeks station of the week is Bro Radio, based in Barry in Wales. The station currently uses two frequencies to provide a locally focused community service to the Barry and Llantwit Major areas.
The station operates a simple and straight forward schedule, but offers specialist programmes in the evenings. Music is varied with shows dedicated to 60s music, and 80s, 90s, 00s music.
I’m impressed by the quality of the website, which is clean and elegant, yet packed with all the information that could be needed, both about the station and the area it serves.
Also worth noting that the station continues to improve its transmitter set-up. The Barry transmitter had a power output increase earlier in the year, with the new Llantwit Major transmitter extending coverage further. Another transmitter is planned, to allow most (but not all) of the Vale of Glamorgan to be covered by the station.
All in all, Bro Radio is a fantastic example of a high quality community station. You can find out more about the station by visiting the Station Guide here.
Three community radio stations have extended their coverage areas using FM transmitters.
Bro Radio in Wales has opened a transmitter on 100.2 FM, to serve the Llantwit Major area. I understand they have permission for a further transmitter, but are still fundraising for this.
Devon station Exmouth Air have an additional transmitter, which serves Cranbrook using the 94.6 FM frequency.
Lastly, Oxfordshire station Witney Radio have opened two new transmitters, one serving Eynsham on 105.3 FM, and the other serving Chipping Norton on 107.4 FM.
The Station Directory has been updated to reflect the new transmitters.