For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Radio Teesdale seeks solution to long-term funding difficulties
THE difficulty in securing long-term funding for a community radio station was highlighted at the broadcaster's annual meeting this week.
Alastair Dinwiddie, chairman of Teesdale Community Broadcasting, which runs Barnard Castle-based Radio Teesdale, admitted the organisation was “almost on its uppers” last year.
And while the situation has improved in the current financial year, he said finding a long term solution “remains a challenge.”
Those present at the AGM were told it costs about £60,000 a year to run the station.
The Ofcom licence Radio Teesdale operates under restricts the station to raising just 50 per cent of its revenue from advertising and sponsorship.
Mr Dinwiddie said this meant the station had to rely on grants - and these were becoming increasingly difficult to find.
Accounts for the year ending June 30, 2012, showed a £24,000 deficit, with income of just £36,000 for the year.
Of this, £24,000 was raised through advertising and sponsorship, but only £12,000 of grant funding was received.
A surplus generated over the previous five years was used to cover the shortfall.
“We had a point last year when we were on our uppers and down to about £5,000 in the bank,” said Mr Dinwiddie.
“Thankfully, that situation has been turned around and we are comfortable for the next 12 months.”
Ofcom, which has renewed the station's licence until 2017, has agreed a £14,000 grant and a further £10,000 of Leader funding has further boosted coffers.
Commercial revenue of more than £20,000 has already been raised for the current year.
Mr Dinwiddie added: “We are very cost effective in terms of what we do, but we are a commercial business.
“At the end of the day, we get the funding in and we spend it – if we don't get funding, it's bad news.
“There are so few grant funding sources and they don't want to keep giving the same people money.”
He said: “How we get long term funding is a debate among all community radio stations at the moment.”
Funding issues aside, Mr Dinwiddie said it had been another successful year for the station, which now attracts some 20,000 online listeners a month via its live streaming facility, in addition to those who tune in on their radio.
“I think that's phenomenal. We continue to produce a broad professional programme schedule and I think what we produce is thoroughly entertaining.
“I really think we make a difference in our community,” he said.
Comments are closed on this article.