Following a four-year campaign to bring local radio back to Milton Keynes, MKFM has been awarded a full time FM licence by Ofcom.
The news comes as MKFM have announced plans to move into permanent studios in the Intu shopping centre and will launch their FM service from their new home in the coming months.
MKFM’s application won the support of hundreds of members of the public who wrote messages in favour of the application as well as most of the city’s key influencers.
MKFM Programme Director Chris Gregg said: “MKFM was started with a simple mission - to bring local radio back to Milton Keynes on FM and this is amazing news because it means we will finally be able to do it. It’s been a lot of hard work but the hundreds of messages of support we received showed that it was all worthwhile.”
City MP Iain Stewart helped to bring forward the opportunity for MKFM to apply for an FM licence after calling a parliamentary debate on the licensing system which led to Ofcom taking the unprecedented step of re-drawing the region boundaries to enable Milton Keynes applications to be considered sooner.
Mr Stewart said “I am absolutely thrilled MKFM have won their long running bid to get a permanent FM broadcasting licence.
“They are a fantastic asset to the community in Milton Keynes and I hope this announcement will allow them to reach an even bigger audience.
“I have been very proud to help them in their campaign by raising the issue in parliament and with Ofcom.”
MKFM has only been available on DAB Digital Radio apart from during limited trial broadcasts but has now been given the go-ahead to transmit on FM with the licence renewed every 5 years if the station keeps to its Key Commitments.
MKFM was started by the former management team of Horizon Radio and their team of volunteers have supported over 500 local community events since 2011.
The radio station provides regular local news, travel and sports reports, community features and support for local music, business and charities, as well as offering professional radio experience for hundreds of volunteers.
MKFM has almost 20,000 facebook fans and official audience figures showed 84,000 listeners tuning in to MKFM every quarter.
Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council said “I’m delighted MKFM’s commitment to serve the community has paid off. This is an exciting move forward for the citizens of Milton Keynes; this city needs a dedicated radio station. MKFM has shown on countless occasions that it is fast becoming a key part of our local community and a vital part of the cultural fabric.”
MKFM will be working with Ofcom to finalise the details of their licence and to commission the transmission system and hope to start test transmissions in May.