After almost a decade of delivering a truly local service to the people of the Erewash Borough, an award-winning local radio station has expressed delight after the broadcast regulator agreed to allow a second transmitter and a second frequency for Cotmanhay-based Erewash Sound to reach homes across Long Eaton and the south of the borough which currently experience poor reception of the 96.8FM service.
In recent correspondence to the radio station, OFCOM said that the agreement was because they did not need to consider exceptional circumstances to justify the increase.
They also acknowledged that the application clearly set out the:
- ‘various relationships and affinities between Ilkeston and Long Eaton. For example, they are part of the same Parliamentary constituency and the same Council area (the Council has town halls in Ilkeston and Long Eaton)’ and that;
- Erewash Sound already broadcasts ‘news stories and other general community items from in and around Long Eaton’ and gives them equal priority with items about Ilkeston;
- The Licensee “aims to…encourage cohesion and inclusivity across the borough” and will be better able to do this with a relay for Long Eaton;
- Some places around Long Eaton can hear the station now, albeit with poor reception. Long Eaton is not served by another community radio service.
The original frequency has not been sufficient to cover every home since the launch of the service by local actor Robert Lindsay from the former Ilkeston Co-op Buildings in March 2010. In the wake of this latest announcement by OFCOM, Erewash Sound has detailed a commitment to investing in the infrastructure to extend the service with the aim to reach all parts of the borough on FM for the first time.
Radio station officials have been seeking support from the regulator and Members of Parliament to find a solution for a number of years and are pleased to have been recognised for having been providing news, sport and information across the Derbyshire borough for the last ten years.
One of the founding members of the radio station, a man who had the brainchild for a radio station for Erewash several decades ago, Jeff Martin, spoke about the collective delight of the organisation following the latest news from OFCOM.
He said: "This means that we can now provide the radio station that we always wanted to in the first place, but couldn’t do so due to broadcast restrictions which applied at the time.
Although our output can also be heard online via our website, smart speakers and a smartphone and tablet application, we are excited by and are very much looking forward to more welcoming more listeners on FM, providing a service to even more local community groups, charities and local organisations through the free to air
publicity they can enjoy and offering commercial promotional opportunities to businesses in the additional broadcast
The Erewash Sound team look forward to making further announcements soon as they work towards launching their extended service.
You can keep up to date with the radio station progress and current activities by visiting their website at www.erewashsound.com.