Gloucester community radio station, Severn FM, coming off the airwaves

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By Bodger21 | Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 15:09

A Gloucester community radio station has lost its fight to stay on the airwaves with the sad announcement today that this Saturday's breakfast show will be its final broadcast.

In January, Quedgeley People reported how Severn FM, which broadcasts from the Old School House in Pound Lane, Hardwicke, was in need of a cash injection to keep going through 2013.

READ: Cash injection needed for community radio station Severn FM

Since June 2011, Severn FM has been providing community programming for the whole of Gloucester and beyond, broadcasting a wide range of shows, from the very popular New Country Show to the infamous Severn Bore Breakfast Show.

However, the board of South Gloucestershire Media CIC - the community interest company that operates Severn FM - has announced today that it has "had to make the really difficult decision to cease operation by the end of the month".

This decision will see the final live breakfast show broadcast this Saturday morning before the technical equipment is dismantled and returned to its owners.

Severn FM founder, breakfast show host and managing director of South Gloucester Media CIC, Andy Clarke, is understandably saddened to see the end of the project.

Speaking on behalf of his fellow directors, Barry Kirby, Andrew James and Caro Kingsnorth, he said: "We have all invested a lot of time, energy, emotion and effort into creating a great station.

"However, we have had to be objective about the current situation and make a very difficult decision - but one that nevertheless needed to be made."

The station, operating under a not-for-profit community interest model business plan, was underpinned by revenue generated by local advertisers, along with donations and grants.

Andy explained: "The current economic climate has made it impossible to continue with this plan. This, coupled with the lack of flexibility within Ofcom to look at sustainable FM delivery, despite clear local demand - therefore restricting the ways in which people listen to the content - has resulted in the project running out of money with no plan to generate revenue."

The board explored a number of different ways to raise the funds necessary to keep the station on the air, but couldn't find a sustainable way of continuing, so has had to take the decision to manage the project to conclusion with the necessary controls in place.

The internet radio will still keep broadcasting pre-recorded shows from Andy's own offices, which is how Severn FM was first born, in the hope that when the next round of community radio licences comes up in 2014, the project may be resurrected.

The Severn FM website will still be available, so listeners can continue to tune in to all of the shows broadcast by the station over the past 18 months.

Speaking on behalf of the Severn FM board, Andy said: "We would like to thank everyone who has supported the station over the past 18 months - from volunteers and presenters to, of course, our listeners. 

"Everyone who came into contact with the station always came away with a really positive experience.

"So do tune in to the final show on Saturday morning, between 8am and 10am, and join us in celebrating what has proved to be a fantastic, educational, enlightening radio station that has 'dared to be different!'"

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