Radio Orwell revival plans, with a phone app
- Credit: Independent Local Radio Ltd
Plans have been revealed to re-launch the Radio Orwell name as an online station for East Suffolk with hopes of winning a DAB licence in 2020.
The not-for-profit company behind the new station has launched a crowd funding bid to raise the £6,500 they need, with the station set to launch on Monday 17 June 2019,
They are keen for local support in reviving the station, which hasn’t broadcast for more than 20 years.
The original Radio Orwell, Ipswich’s first station, was launched in October 1975 from studios at Electric House.
The name continued until 1992 when, after a takeover, Radio Orwell and Saxon Radio (Bury St Edmunds) merged to become SGR.
Andy Lloyd, the project leader, said it would be `localised radio’ unlike the major commercial channels which were “just Radio One with commercials on them.”
Mr Lloyd said the new station would be retro-style: “The new Radio Orwell will be aimed at listeners aged 40+ who may perhaps feel that current local stations are just too youth-orientated,” he added.
The station is broadcasting tests on www.radioorwell.net where there is also a link to the crowd funding bid.
There is also a Facebook page
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“There have been many battles along the way, but we have the UK trademark to the station name, we have secured the rights to the former station’s jingles and it’s hoped to have some ex-Orwell DJs involved too. We can’t play any music yet,” Mr Lloyd said.
“FM radio is old technology - nowadays nobody carries a transistor radio with them but everyone has a phone and that’s where we will be.
“The station will have its own app for Android and iOS devices, will feature on platforms such as Radioplayer and, of course, you can listen at www.radioorwell.net.”
Mr Lloyd said significant funds have already been invested in the project. The team has formed a not-for-profit company to run the station and oversee the DAB licence application.
“We want Radio Orwell to be a service whose sole purpose is to serve the area, it’s all about fulfilling a need for a genuinely localised music and information station – that’s why the company will be not-for-profit, clearly demonstrating our intentions and commitment,” he said.
“As long as it is financially self-sustaining, then we will see that as a success. Our Facebook page has 820 likes already, so we must be on to something!”
Radio Orwell plans to broadcast 24 hours a day, with a daytime mix of music from the 1960s -1980s. Specialist music programmes are also planned for the evenings.
Mr Lloyd’s company, Independent Local Radio, has plans to revive other nostalgic local radio brands across the country, using a similar model, including Chiltern, Devonair, Radio Tees and Southern Sound (Brighton).