DURHAM is to get its own radio station, briefly, ahead of plans to give it its own permanent broadcaster.

Durham FM will take to the air on 107Mhz from this Sunday until Friday, December 6, with a mixture of popular music and local information.

The Radio Authority plans to give the city its own permanent station and in the meantime has granted a temporary licence to Radio Investments Ltd.

The firm, which operates Sunderland's Sun FM and Darlington's Alpha 103.2, intends to bid for the full licence and will use the pre-Christmas run to test the water and carry out audience surveys.

The station's temporary launch will coincide with the start of the city's Christmas ice skating sessions.

Brian Lister, of Radio Investments Ltd, said: "We want to give Durham its own truly local radio station.

"If we can convince the radio Authority of our case, Durham FM could be on the air in around two years time.''

He added: Durham FM will be fun to listen to, with professional presenters who know their music and know their area - 24 hours a day, not from Tyneside, Teesside or London but from Durham for Durham.''

Mr Lister added: "Durham is the only city that had a local radio station - BBC Radio Durham - and had it taken away.''

Temporary studios will be set up in the former Tourist Information Centre in Market Place and a low-powered transmitter will broadcast from New College Durham to the city and surrounding villages.