Salford City Radio has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise £10,000 before the end March to save itself from closing. Salford City Council is proposing to cut all of its £25,000 subsidy in the current budget proposals for the next financial year (see here), and Ofcom has to see viable accounts for the station by the end of March before it will renew its licence.
With 49 days left, the station has currently raised £2,380. Amazingly, Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett, who will be proposing the budgets cuts at the full meeting of Salford Council this month, is backing the campaign to save the station, which is housed in a Council building at the back of the Swinton Civic Centre.
"This station gives a voice to those that wouldn't have one otherwise" says studio manager Chris Bell "It gives volunteers, young and old, a brilliant chance to learn new skills and grow their confidence. It would be a tragedy if it went to the wall. But honestly, I know the people of Salford are going to get behind us..."
Salford City Radio is run by 83 volunteers, aged between 18 and 85, who all have shows, and have paid a 50p per week fee to take part since the Council slashed the station's grant by £15,000 two years ago (see here).
"Before I started at the station I just felt like a woman, a minority, like a nobody at that time" says Sufiya Rehman, part time studio manager "But coming here I was able to express myself through radio and now, through my programme, I am the person for people who don't have that platform."
The award-winning station has shows that cover everything from minority interests, to sport, heritage and, of course, local music, providing a platform for sounds and views that wouldn't otherwise normally be aired.
"We are proud of our many awards and achievements over many years" says Councillor Jim King, Chair of Salford City Radio "Our work has been commended locally, regionally and nationally. The quality of our work is therefore not in doubt. In launching this funding campaign we intend that the 'Voice of Salford' continues on air serving the many and diverse communities of your city."
The danger of Salford City Radio closing comes hard on the heels of Salford Online shutting down recently, leaving any notion of community involvement in the so-called 'Media City' almost dead and buried.
To donate to Salford City Radio's Crowdfunder – click here
For further details and to listen to Salford City Radio check its website – click here