Community radio's full-time licence
DISC Jockeys at Exmouth's community radio station are gearing up for its long awaited full-time on-air launch this spring.
In April last year BAY FM was granted a full-time licence.
Since it was founded in 2006, the station has been an online station, only broadcasting on air during the annual Exmouth Festival.
It is currently broadcasting via www.bayfm.co.uk in the evenings and weekends.
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After an extensive application process last spring the UK's communications regulator Ofcom granted the not-for-profit enterprise a five-year license.
Councillors on East Devon District Council's Development Management Committee this month unanimously backed an application for a 20m radio mast to be located at Withycombe Raleigh Common. This will allow the station to broadcast to a wider area including Budleigh Salterton, Woodbury, Lympstone and Otterton.
"We had to wait for Ofcom to clear our new frequency number," explained station manager Andy Green who co-founded the enterprise with his wife Julie. "And we wanted to get a new mast because we recognised that surrounding areas are under served by radio, so we're really pleased to be able to serve these areas better now.
"It's amazing that we are launching full-time after planning for this for seven years – we've had to jump through so many hoops to get it."
Mr Green's first application to Ofcom was refused in 2007 partly because there was not enough funding or experience. The 40-strong team then had to wait another five years to be invited to apply again.
"It's a really good achievement," said Mr Green. "And it's recognition of our determination.
The team hope test transmission will begin for two weeks on March 1, with the aim of going on air 24/7 on March 15.
There will be daily breakfast, mid-morning and lunchtime programmes as well as two afternoon shows. Special music shows will be broadcast in the evenings and weekends and on Saturday morning there will be a youth show hosted by pupils at Exmouth Community College. On Tuesday evenings the team holds a radio club for budding presenters.
On Sundays from 4pm there will be a memory lane feature hosted by former Radio Devon presenter Nick Muir. On Sunday nights there will be a feature on mental health issues.