Bay FM grant bid

BAY FM has gone cap in hand to the town council in their bid to become Exmouth s first a fully-fledged radio station.

BAY FM has gone cap in hand to the town council in their bid to become Exmouth's first a fully-fledged radio station.

However despite a series of successful 'test' broadcasts, on Monday members of the Town's Finance Committee said they first needed more information.

Chairman of BAY FM Steering Committee, Ian K. McKenzie said they were now ready to move on from limited broadcasts under a Restricted Service Licence and apply to The Office of Communications for a full licence - but they needed money.

He said: "As before, then transmission covered the period of the Exmouth Festival and we were able to provide information to listeners about many aspects of events during that exciting period."

He said their aims were to engage the community, to act as an education and training service, to provide information and advice to serve as a platform for local talent.

He added the licences were granted when a station has demonstrated a 'high quality service;

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"We believe that we have emphatically demonstrated the capacity to do so.

"The problem is of course finance. The fees payable...are significant well into four figures and will become larger when we are able to secure a full licence.

".... (We) ask the committee to consider providing ongoing financial support to Bay FM.

"We believe we have huge potential and capacity for supporting Exmouth's plans."

The cots a year could be as much as �4,500 and Cllr Pauline Stott said: "This comes before us every year.

"They (Ofcom) don't give licences to radio stations that cover small areas.

"You have to have a population of at least 120,000 people to succeed. That is why Heart and Gemini merged - the licences are so expensive."

Town Clerk John Wokersien said: "There is a difference between a community radio station and commercial radio station.

"They give students from the Community College a chance to learn new skills."

Cllr Lynne Elson said: "There has never been a business plan, perhaps we need more information."

Cllr Eileen Wragg said: "Perhaps it might be helpful if Ian McKenzie gave us presentation.

"They helped during the Exmouth Festival and they help local business. We need a clearer idea of where they are going.

"It often takes years to build an audience. Believe it or not there are some people in the town who still don't know about the Exmouth Festival."

Cllr Steve Gazzard said: "It is my understanding Ofcom is changing the rules (when it comes to the size of radio stations for licencing).

"I think it would be helpful if we could write to Ofcom to say what a wonderful job they do."