Penistone FM was formed in 2005 and is a not-for-profit local radio station licensed by Ofcom to broadcast to Penistone and the surrounding area on 95.7 FM. We are staffed by a team of volunteers and receive our income from advertising, donations, fundraising activities and grants – all of which help to pay for the substantial running costs of the station. Our legal status as a company limited by guarantee (Penistone Community Radio Limited) means we have no shareholders and any surplus funds are ploughed back into the station to develop it.
Over 22,000 people live within our target area, with many choosing to listen online. Penistone FM has a number of key commitments and social gain responsibilities: delivering local news, information and supporting local community and voluntary groups in the promotion of their work.
In June 2007, we applied to the industry regulator Ofcom for an FM community radio licence. The Ofcom Radio Licensing Committee met in December 2007 and awarded us a licence to broadcast on the AM waveband (frequency 1475 kHz) due to the lack of available FM frequencies. While the licence award was a major achievement, we were naturally disappointed with the allocation of an AM frequency.
Not deterred, we kept a very close eye on the situation. Soon enough, an FM frequency became available after a community radio station in Chesterfield failed to make it to air. After much persuasion, Ofcom allocated us the frequency 95.7 FM. That was when the hard work really began; hours and hours of planning, fundraising, grant applications, contract negotiations, DIY and training – all in preparation for our launch.
We set Saturday 9th May 2009 as the date for our four-week test transmissions to begin. On Monday 27th April 2009, Ofcom visited our transmission site in order to check our technical compliance. A lot of time and effort went into preparing for our test transmissions and the visit was very nerve-wracking. However, thanks to the professionalism of our contracted engineer Paul Godley, we passed with flying colours!
After four years of hard work, Penistone FM officially launched on Saturday 6th June 2009 at 9:57 AM. The first song played during our test transmissions was Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams; the last was Europe’s The Final Countdown. Our launch song was Greatest Day by Take That.