Radio station faces losing licence for lack of studio

TD1 Radio founder David Henderson celebrating winning the FM licence last year
TD1 Radio founder David Henderson celebrating winning the FM licence last year

A Borders community radio station faces losing the FM licence it celebrated gaining last year because it can’t find studio space.

The internet TD1 Radio broadcasts online from founder and station manager David Henderson’s spare room in Galashiels.

But to take up the community radio licence, awarded by Ofcom in February last year and which would allow TD1 Radio to broadcast alongside the BBC and commercial stations, David says the station needs office space and two studios.

The former Radio Borders presenter said: “I have lost count of the number of places we have looked at. Commercial rent starts from £10,000 a year which, being a non-profit making organisation, we really can’t afford.

“It’s proving to be very difficult, despite the number of empty shops and offices in Galashiels.

“So far there’s been nothing suitable or within our price range. We have got until February next year or Ofcom will revoke the licence.”

He said cutbacks in other local broadcast media means less programming coming from the region which TD1 would fill, covering the central Borders.

He said: “The whole point behind starting TD1 back in 2008 was to move the service on to FM – that was our ambition.

“We didn’t know then if it would be possible. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ofcom opened up licences to community groups.

“It just seems incredible that we’ve got the licence but we’re not able to use it.”

Moving to FM would see the station and its 25 volunteers provide 10 hours a day of live local radio and increase its speech section of news, local interviews and what’s on, and allow other community groups to come into the studio to make their own programmes.

David said: “We’d be more than happy to offer lifetime free advertising on air to whoever gave us a new home, or was willing to charge us a token rent, or we could have some tie-in with other organisations to promote each other.”

Anyone able to help can contact David on 07476 339540.