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‘I never expected this’ - Radio station beats all expectations one year on

PUBLISHED: 10:42 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 19 October 2018

Neil Jones, station manager and Ian Papworth, assistant manager, of Smart Radio. Picture: Joseph Norton

Neil Jones, station manager and Ian Papworth, assistant manager, of Smart Radio. Picture: Joseph Norton

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What started out as an idea between friends has now grown into a radio station with more than 10,000 listeners.

Neil Jones set up Smart Radio last October. Picture: Joseph NortonNeil Jones set up Smart Radio last October. Picture: Joseph Norton

Smart Radio, in Great Yarmouth, was created by Neil Jones in October last year.

Now, about to celebrate its one year anniversary, the station as surpassed expectations and the site now hosts a monthly magazine called The Voice.

Mr Jones has been a radio host and DJ for more than 38 years. He was talking with friends about setting up their own station and before he knew it there were already sponsors lined-up.

He said: “I used to work at other stations and I jokingly said to my friends we should start our own.

“It went from there and then a sponsor contacted me to say ‘when was I launching?’ Me being me I said in three months time even though I had no equipment.

“We managed to get a full schedule, desk and equipment before opening within the 12 weeks and ever since it just gets better and better with more people joining.”

The Internet based radio station is a community venture with those running the shows being volunteers. The hosts of the shows, called Smarties, are made up of people living in the Great Yarmouth area.

Mr Jones, 54, from Burgh Castle, added: “We have been able to expand and have our magazine which has a readership of thousands.

“We have listeners from a range of ages but the two big age ranges are around 25 and 65. This is why we play 70s, 80s, and 90s music.

“It’s going good, in the first year I didn’t expect a large amount of listeners for an Internet station.

“Around 400 is good for an station like this but over the year we have had around 10,000 listeners.

“We have our Facebook page which is nearing 8,000 hits a week as well as the 10,000 listening on our website.”

The station will be celebrating their first year with a party at The Grange Freehouse, Great Yarmouth with a performance from Little Red Kings, a band that the station has supported.

Mr Jones says that the station would not have been possible without the help and support from all its volunteers and sponsors who have been a “massive help” in the first year of broadcasting.

For more information and to tune into the station go to www.smartradio.org.uk

You can also download the Smart Radio GY app on android and iOS devices.

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