Friday, 17 February 2012

Diversity FM to close down in March

Lancaster & District YMCA, who hold the broadcast license for Lancaster & Morecambe’s community radio station Diversity 103.5 FM has announced the station will close at the end of March. The decision has been made on financial grounds.

Diversity 103.5FM began its full-time 24 hour broadcast service in September 2007 and as a community station has engaged with over 300 volunteers in that time. In the last 5 years the station has broadcast a varied mix of specialist music and community programming, most of which has been produced by local people aged between 5 and 80 years old from many different backgrounds. Diversity 103.5FM has also allowed many voluntary and community groups in the district to promote their organisations to a wide audience.

Speaking about the closure Nik Marsdin, Service Manager with the YMCA said, “This is a sad loss to the district. Diversity FM has not only provided a brilliant music and information service to our area, it has supported a wide range of local people who came to the station to learn about radio broadcasting. Diversity has been very successful in moving people into the broadcast industry and some volunteers have gone from the station to work for the BBC and into the commercial radio sector both at home and abroad.

"We’re very proud of what Diversity FM has achieved, much of which the public will never know about. It’s been a great support to unemployed people and has always welcomed those with severe physical disabilities, mental health issues and social problems through its doors and has never seen these as a barrier to broadcasting.

"But running a radio station and training facility like Diversity FM doesn’t come cheap. On average it costs around £6500 per month to keep Diversity FM on air. Much of our funding has come from grants in the past, but these are increasingly difficult to secure in the current financial climate and unfortunately Diversity FM has become another casualty of the recession.”

Diversity 103.5 FM will continue to offer its usual output of music, chat, and feature programming over the coming weeks until the transmitter is turned off and the studios close on Saturday March 31st.  The station staff, who are on redundancy notice, would like to thank the many volunteers who have been involved with the station and those members of the public who have been very supportive over the years.

For further information about Diversity 103.5 FM visit http://www.diversityfm.co.uk/

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