Battle for the airwaves 1: Coastal Radio

Coastal Radio logo

Coastal Radio logo - Credit: Archant

A radio station described by its operators as Great Yarmouth’s “original community radio station” is ready and waiting to start their five-year broadcast next year after submitting a licence application to Ofcom.

The window for the East of England radio licence closed on Tuesday.

Now the team, who said they have “worked tirelessly creating an impressive application”, have a waiting game. It is expected Ofcom will announce the awarded licences in the early part of next year.

Interestingly, Coastal wasn’t always above board when it comes to licensing. It all started from a pirate radio station!

During the summer of 1992 a local resident felt local radio in the area did not do the town justice. He felt the playlist was repetitive and drab.

Simon Jones shared those views, and said “Why don’t we start our own radio station then?”

They set to work creating a studio in garages near the sea and a name soon became obvious. Coastal Radio.

Most Read

The station developed and East Norfolk Sixth Form College aided the two men in their pursuit to get it on air. They formed a large part of the station providing a space to locate studios as well as present important travel bulletins and weather reports.

Coastal, back in the 1990s also went out and about and engaged with local people with roadshows set up on Yarmouth’s Golden Mile. The station went on air several times with backing from local advertiser’s as well as the late Mike Butcher, owner of the Long Bar.

The then commercial licence was subsequently lost to another station in the area meaning the name Coastal faded away until Simon Jones resurrected the name and formed the Coastal Radio Community Interest Company feeling once again, almost 20 years later, the needs of the community and local area were not being met.

After two successful broadcasts, in August and December 2013 it is hoped Coastal will finally be able to broadcast to Yarmouth and the surrounding area providing a voice for all members of the community and from all walks of life.

Stephen Bumfrey of BBC Radio Norfolk described the station and team as “inclusive, fresh, informative and fun! Above all, they know how to engage with the listeners.”

Anyone wanting to get involved with Coastal Radio can visit their website or the Facebook page.