Takeover Radio faces uncertain future

Gareth Hussey, station manager at Takeover Radio
Gareth Hussey, station manager at Takeover Radio

A COMMUNITY radio station based in Sutton could be forced off the airwaves if it is unable to secure further funding to broadcast.

Takeover Radio 106.9 has been broadcasting to Ashfield and the surrounding area from its home at Sutton Centre for more than a year, and provides a training ground for young people who want to produce and present their own shows.

But now the station, which relies on grants from various organisations, is under threat after it was unsuccessful in securing a grant from Ofcom to employ its only paid staff member, station manager Gareth Hussey.

At present there are no volunteers who are able to take over Gareth’s role, which finishes in August and includes dealing with finances and programming.

In addition, Takeover Radio also has to foot the high costs of holding a broadcasting licence, paying royalties to artists and other bills - which is worsened by the fact the station cannot generate extra revenue from advertising.

Gareth said: “We are only supposed to be a small, community radio station and we are a registered charity so we are not allowed to take any advertising.

“We have been applying for funding but we have only been successful with one grant. It has been a struggle from day one.”

Now volunteers at the station have or-ganised a fundraising drive, which started last Aaturday with a car wash at Sutton Centre.

And they are also appealing to businesses in the area to help them out.

Despite the financial difficulties the station is facing, Takeover Radio is proving popular with both youngsters and adults and it now boasts more live shows than ever.

“We are getting better and better,” Gareth said. “The interactions are going up week by week since we have been having presenters on during the day and we are now having more adult listeners.”

For details visit www.takeoverradio.net.