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Radio station seeks to expand across south Norfolk and north Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 13:16 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:13 15 February 2019

John Cross, Mark Pryke and Chris Moyse in 2010 after Park Radio was launched. PHOTO: Sonya Duncan

John Cross, Mark Pryke and Chris Moyse in 2010 after Park Radio was launched. PHOTO: Sonya Duncan

ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2010

A volunteer run community radio station that has been broadcasting about life in south Norfolk and north Suffolk for 18 months is seeking to extend its range.

Park Radio launched in November 2017 broadcasts from studios in Diss. Picture: Andy DarnellPark Radio launched in November 2017 broadcasts from studios in Diss. Picture: Andy Darnell

Park Radio broadcasts 24-hours a day to Diss, Harleston and Eye and surrounding villages but has now applied to regular Ofcom to be allowed a more powerful transmitter so it can be heard further afield where coverage is patchy.

If successful the station could be heard as far north as Long Stratton, Bungay in the east and westwards as far as East Harling as well as broadcasting further into North Suffolk.

Station manager and director Chris Moyse said: “With our existing arrangements we have a certain power that we are allowed to broadcast. Whereas if we were to be given additional power for our transmissions it would enable us to reach rural communities that use the three key market towns that we are licensed to serve, Diss, Harleston and Eye.

Parky Bear with the Park Radio volunteers and team. Picture: Park RadioParky Bear with the Park Radio volunteers and team. Picture: Park Radio

“With those three towns there is a total population of about 15,000 but there are more people living in the surrounding rural communities that we are not able to reach. It seems a shame that people from surrounding villages who use Eye, for example, places like Thorndon, Debenham or Stradbroke, can’t hear us sufficiently well enough.”

The Diss-based community station, which has 40 regular volunteers, launched in November 2017 after a long campaign that started in 2009 and first took to the airwaves with test broadcasts in 2012.

Its mix of community news and music has quickly won regular listeners and the station’s roadshow has become a familiar sight at events ranging from Diss Carnival to Christmas lights switch-ons.

Park Radio is seeking to extent its coverage to places like Long Stratton, Bungay, East Harling and Debenham. Picture: Diss Matters/Diss TCPark Radio is seeking to extent its coverage to places like Long Stratton, Bungay, East Harling and Debenham. Picture: Diss Matters/Diss TC

The station, which has an Ofcom license until 2022, currently has masts in Harleston and Diss. It hopes to hear if its application to extend coverage has been successful before the end of the year and has already budgeted for more powerful transmitters.

Mr Moyse said it would also help reach more businesses and make the station more commercially sustainable.

He said: “Because we are based in Diss there has been this perception that we are a station for Diss. More people are becoming aware that there is a station for them too that they can use to promote their communities, help their fundraising and benefit from locally.”

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