Boost for Diss radio station plans

A dedicated community radio station for the Diss area could hit the airwaves in the summer after being formed in response to a lack of local commercial coverage.

A dedicated community radio station for the Diss area could hit the airwaves in the summer after being formed in response to a lack of local commercial coverage.

A former 'eye-in-the-sky' traffic reporter launched proposals for the new not-for-profit station earlier this year, which would be called Park Radio.

The station is set to step up its broadcasting plans by staging a road show at this year's Diss Carnival celebrations to recruit more support and volunteers for the scheme.

The project, which was the brainchild of John Cross, of Wattisfield, could soon have its own dedicated studio space in the town after being offered the chance to broadcast from Diss Methodist Church.


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The volunteer-run station is aiming to get a short-term 28 day FM licence later in September, but must first have permanent premises to transmit from.

Mr Cross, who used to work for SGR FM in Suffolk and Crown FM in Norwich, said he had been offered the free use of a barn at the Methodist Church in Victoria Road, which would need planning permission to be used as a studio.

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Mr Cross said the long-term plan was to get a five year community radio licence, but the station had to wait for Ofcom to invite new broadcasters to come forward for an FM licence in the east of England, which could be three years away.

'The best we can do is get together and broadcast together online and try and get a 28 day broadcasting licence and build up our experience and support in the community.'

'Local radio stations are being bought up by national stations and the majority of areas have lost their local radio. Diss is between Ipswich and Norwich and does not have a hope in hell of getting heard on local commercial radio. If we do not do it, someone else will,' he said.

The station manager said there were already 20 to 25 people willing to host shows and work behind the scenes and Park Radio would have an outside broadcasting unit at Diss Carnival on June 20.

'It [Diss Carnival] will be a great for us and will be the biggest thing we have done so far. We will have a fully working radio studio at the carnival and people will see we are for real,' he added.

For more information, call 01379 210000 or email studio@parkradio.co.uk.

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