RADIO LEYLAND is celebrating its first birthday as the local FM community radio station for Leyland and the surrounding area, broadcasting on 104.8 FM, online at radioleyland.com and on your smart device.
Leyland’s local all-volunteer radio station started life with the setting up of a non- profit company in late 2014. An initial 3-day experimental broadcast followed, in June 2015, under the name Leyland Festival Radio.
June 2017 saw the team dip another toe in the water with a one-week FM broadcast in support of Leyland Festival. No sooner was that done when, to the team’s surprise (and considerably earlier than expected) Ofcom invited further new applications for local community radio licences.
After a mad scramble to complete the application process, Ofcom offered the group a five-year community radio licence in December 2017 and the station began its permanent radio service on 1 April 2019 with a show hosted in partnership by Rev Phil Gough and Keith Bradshaw.
The station was officially launched by the Mayor of South Ribble, Councillor John Rainsbury. The launch was attended by station volunteers, sponsors, advertisers and supporters, sharing a tasty breakfast supplied by The Mill at St Catherine’s.
The station now boasts an estimated 7,000+ weekly listeners, with around 30 volunteers producing a wide range of programmes aimed primarily at the over-35s.
Founder and station manager Brian Ashman believes the station’s strength lies in its diversity and openness:
He explained: “Radio Leyland is proud of the wealth and variety of talent, knowledge and passion that exists among our volunteers. They are our lifeblood and it’s their commitment and dedication that enables us to produce relevant local programming that’s simply not available elsewhere.
“Apart from local news and interviews in our Breakfast show, a high-energy Drivetime, vintage music from the 1920s to the 1970s in our daily dementia-friendly afternoon show, we have a great range of specialist shows. It all forms a unique package that offers something for virtually everybody locally, whether they enjoy rock, indie, jazz-funk, swing, country, soul, music from a particular decade – we have it all.
“We also provide space for innovation and experimentation. By way of example, our Myths and Music series, hosted by Alex Wruk, produced some of the most dramatic, compelling and unforgettable story narration we’ve ever heard – a good reason, if anyone needed one, for visiting our listen again facility at mixcloud.com/Leyland_festival_radio.
“Of course, none of this would be possible without our marvellous listeners, our hard- working volunteers, and, in particular, the many local businesses who support us with show sponsorship and advertising, including Leyland Market, Coopers Taxis, Birchall Blackburn Law, C&W Berry Ltd., and members of our 100 Club.
“We’re also deeply indebted to Leyland Leader, the BB4B networking group and to local Christian bookshop and publisher 10ofthose.com for all their support and kindness.”
Here’s to a second successful year for Leyland’s own radio station!