TWO community radio station are aiming to start the new year by securing time on the airwaves.
Bosses at Radio Northumberland, which was established in January 2012, are currently applying for a full-time five year FM Community Licence from OfCom.
And fellow radio station Synergy are hoping to secure another 28-day broadcasting licence after securing £4,000 in grants.
Radio Northumberland, based in Bedlington, has been running as a full time on-line community radio station since January 2012.
Stewart Allen, station manager, said: “We operate a central schedule of local news with the News Post Leader, music and local information.
“Local people can get involved with a poem, story, feature, one-off show or a regular commitment.
“There is a wide variety of shows from Punk to the Owld Record Club of 1940/50s music, which we also distribute to a couple of local old people’s homes.
“We have broadcast many hours of local music and live buskers nights and have ‘15 minutes of fame’ where local talent can be showcased.”
The radio station has also been involved in a number of events including Morpeth Fair, Bedlington Olympic Torch Relay, Chilli-Fest and their Isabella Community Christmas Fair and the Christmas Fair at Seaton Delaval Hall.
They also include non-league football in their sport coverage, with both Bedlington Terriers and Blyth Spartans matches covered live.
Mr Allen added: “Most importantly we have grown the number of local people involved in radio. We have done all this with very little money and the hard work of our volunteers.”
To listen to the radio station, visit www.radionorthumberland.com
Elsewhere, Synergy radio station received a yuletide gift thanks to £1,000 from the Co-op’s Community Fund and £3,000 from the Sir James Knott Trust.
South Northumberland Radio Group, the organisation behind the broadcasting project, organised a successful four weeks of live programming – which included contributions from numerous community groups – on air for listeners in south east Northumberland in March 2012.
The Bedlington-based station chairman Colin Heathcote said: “Receiving the two grants just before Christmas was a real tonic.
“Fundraising in the current difficult financial climate is very hard with so many voluntary groups and charities chasing an ever-diminishing pot of money.
“We have built a tremendous support base which is reflected by the wide variety of local and regional funders, and listeners here and overseas, who believe in what we are trying to achieve: a genuinely accessible community radio station that will provide the type of broadcasting service the area’s residents deserve.
“We look forward to adding to our funding total in 2013 when we hope to achieve not only a second successful Ofcom-approved restricted service licence broadcast on FM and on-line, but also progress on plans for a five-year full-time licence.”