Tunbridge Wells hospital charity wants to run new radio station
by Andy Tong | 3rd January 2019
A NEW radio station could take to the airwaves in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells this year.
Ofcom, the communications regulator, is advertising for applications to run a new local community station to cover the three towns and surrounding villages.
A group called West Kent Radio has been set up to make an application, which must be submitted by the closing date of March 31.
Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells [HRTW], who have been broadcasting to the local hospitals since the early 1960s, are behind the group’s bid.
Nigel Peacock of West Kent Radio, who is co-ordinating the application, said: “A locally based radio station for our towns and their villages is well overdue.
“We will be able to cover local news, travel and events, focusing on Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Southborough, which other radio stations are simply not able to do.”
Chris Manser, HRTW’s station manager, said: “As one of the most established hospital radio stations in the UK, we are excited at the -opportunity to be involved with a new local FM radio station.
“The experience of our volunteer team means we can provide quality radio programmes on FM, while still focusing on our ever-popular request -programmes for listeners in the two local hospitals.”
There are over 280 small local community radio stations on air on FM, AM and DAB across the country. The licence advertised is for FM and will cover a radius of around three miles.
If West Kent Radio’s application is successful, it will be based at the existing hospital radio studios in the centre of Tunbridge Wells.
The team will be working with local organisations and community groups over the next three months to write up their bid.
HRTW is a registered charity that has been providing non-commercial bedside entertainment to patients since 1961.
It broadcasts 24/7 to Tunbridge Wells Hospital, Tonbridge Cottage Hospital; online at hrtw.org.uk and via the Tune In App.
For more information, visit Facebook and Twitter @HRTunWells