Date Published: 08 January 2021
Rutland County Council is to consider proposals made by the Rutland and Stamford Community Radio Project’s Independent Project Board that would see the entirety of the project transferred to a Community Interest Company for its final stages.
Following the rebranding and refocusing of Rutland’s existing local radio station last year, Rutland County Council provided seed funding for an independent project to investigate whether it is feasible to develop a community-based radio platform for Rutland and Stamford.
The Community Radio Independent Project Board, which was established in November 2020 to oversee and steer the project, has recommended to Rutland County Council’s Cabinet that the project should progress to a new ‘validation phase’ through the creation of Rutland and Stamford Sound (a pilot station), which would be independent of the Council so it could seek advertising, grant funding and/or a licence from Ofcom.
The independent pilot station, Rutland and Stamford Sound, would test the initial feasibility findings to assess whether a new community radio station for Rutland is viable.
The Project Board has also proposed that any remaining funding for the project be issued to the Rutland and Stamford Sound Community Interest Company (CIC) as a grant and that the Project Manager post, which has been established to run the project on behalf of the Council, is transferred to the CIC.
“Our interim report sets out key conclusions from work that’s been undertaken by the Project so far, as well as the reasons for recommending a CIC as the preferred model to operate a Pilot Station. The CIC not-for-profit model is already successfully used in the world of community radio. Two members of our Project Board also have experience of establishing and managing successful Rutland-based CICs. If approved, the new company would operate independently, with full responsibility for managing all aspects of the Pilot Station, including continued engagement with residents in Rutland and Stamford.” Mary Hardwick, Chair of the Rutland and Stamford Community Radio Project
“There is still a huge appetite among Rutland residents to see the return of a community-focused radio station that gives a voice to local people and issues. A tremendous amount of work has been done to put the Community Radio Project on a firm footing in terms of governance and research. The interim report that’s been submitted provides a full overview of the work carried out to date, as well as suggestions for where the project should go next.” Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council
Rutland County Council’s Cabinet is due to consider the interim report from the Rutland and Stamford Community Radio Project at its next virtual meeting on Tuesday 12 January 2021.
The agenda and reports for this meeting have been published and can be read online at: www.rutland.gov.uk/meetings.