THE new studios of a community radio station have been officially opened.
Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Catriona Morris, declared the MKFm building in Northfield open last Wednesday.
The state of the art radio studios will be used by MKFM to broadcast news, information and music alongside the existing ‘studio pod’ outside Xscape as the station prepares for its fourth FM trial broadcast month.
The new studio complex will provide improved facilities, including a broadcast newsroom which will enable it to increase its news coverage and introduce some new community based programmes, including an arts review show on a Sunday with Nancy Stevens.
It will also be used to train the dozens of aspiring broadcasters who volunteer with the radio station and to run workshops for students.
Miss Morris said “I have seen MKFM everywhere across Milton Keynes. It’s absolutely fundamental that Milton Keynes has its own radio station in this growing city.
“There’s lots going on in the city, lots to be proud about. Its really really important we have our own local radio station.”
MKFM programme director, Chris Gregg, said the new studio will make a big difference.
“The existing ‘pod’ is important to us because it lets our listeners see that we’re here, we’re local and we’re broadcasting live from MK but we needed more space,” he said.
“The new studio will enhance what we can do behind the scenes as we work towards a permanent FM license”.
MKFM will be broadcasting on 107 FM from November 24 until December 21 with a limited ‘trial’ license. There are two more trial broadcasts planned over the next year, followed by an application for a permanent license in around 12 months.
The radio station has to wait until the end of next year to apply for a permanent license due to the current community radio licensing system.
MKFM commercial director, Darren Dorrington said: “We think Milton Keynes is an important city with a unique identity which should have its own dedicated local radio station.
“We’re a not for profit organisation committed to broadcasting high quality programmes with local news, travel, school closures, sports coverage and details of local events and supporting charities, community groups and local businesses.”
And chief executive of MK Dons, John Cove, added: “The opening of MKFM’s Studio B marks a key milestone in the development of re-instating a FM radio station in Milton Keynes and it’s tremendous to be able to support their development.
“As a club and as the Sport and Education Trust we see this partnership as crucial not only to our own development, but of Milton Keynes generally. We wish them well.”
Marketing and Communications Manager at Willen Hospice, Helen Green, was also at the opening.
She said “We were thrilled to be part of MKFM’s launch of their new studio in Northfield, which looks fantastic.
“Having a radio station that caters for the community of Milton Keynes helps to provide a voice to communicate all local news, activities, and events which is vital to the fundraising team at Willen Hospice.
“We wish MKFM good luck with their new studio and look forward to them being back on the air soon.”
To find out more about MKFM and to volunteer visit www.mkfm.com