Borders radio station facing closure risk due to cash crisis

Tom Ingoldsby, treasurer of Borders Community Radio.
Tom Ingoldsby, treasurer of Borders Community Radio.

A community radio station in the Borders faces being forced off the airwaves because of a financial crisis.

Borders Community Radio, also known as TD1 Radio, operates free of charge from its home at Galashiels Golf Club on 106.5fm.

It plays a variety of music and conducts live interviews with people representing organisations in the region, offering what has been described as a “vital community service”.

But now its future hangs in the balance because of a cash shortage, and the station could be forced to close by the end of this month if funds cannot be found soon.

As part of a bid to ensure the music keeps playing, the station’s treasurer, Tom Ingoldsby, is to make a plea for financial support at this week’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s Galashiels common good fund sub-committee.

Despite growing money worries, a small but dedicated group of volunteers has managed to carry on broadcasting over the last 12 months.

However, a number of upcoming cash pressures mean that the station’s future is uncertain.

Mr Ingoldsby, who hosts a show for the station every Wednesday, revealed that there is now “virtually no money in the company’s bank account”.

He added: “We are grateful to Galashiels Golf Club, who allow us to use their premises free of charge.

“Individual donations from the public and volunteers and income from sponsorship have allowed broadcasting to continue, but we now face significant essential expenditure before April 1.

“By that date, we have to pay our annual licence fee to Ofcom at £850 and our fee for the use of Sky News at £351.

“We also have ongoing running costs of £400 per month to cover our power supply, broadband, insurance and fees to the Performing Rights Society and Phonographic Performance.

“If we cannot raise these funds, the station will be forced to stop broadcasting on March 31.”

The station, established 12 years ago and based at the golf club since 2015, currently has only £800 banked.

Mr Ingoldsby added: “We contribute to the common good by providing local community information of various types, local travel information and a wide variety of programme material not available from any other station.

“We also provide a volunteering opportunity locally.

“We believe we offer a vital community service.”