Full Details coming soon...
West Bedlington Town Council Donation
Full Details coming soon...
Full Details coming soon...
Full Details coming soon...
Work on transforming the old British Gas showroom at 90a Front Street East, Bedlington into a professional grade broadcasting studio is now just about complete.
The power is on, decorating more or less finished thanks to Kevin Foster of Foster and Butters, and carpet and lino laid throughout.
This good news was toasted on-site with bubbly as we thanked our brilliant volunteers Brian Oliver and Malcolm Robinson (pictured above with Colin Heathcote, John White and Neal Younger) for all the hard work they had put in at the studio.
We've been able to furnish the studio, reception area and kitchen with furniture and equipment donated kindly by Catherine and Peter Ennor of Alnwick and we will soon be progressing with broadcasting and transmission gear.
The recent completion of work has meant we have been able to apply for our first 28-day restricted service licence broadcast. Subject to Ofcom’s ok we hope to be on-air in the Spring.
We’ve got much to get through as we plan for the broadcast and we want to hear your programme ideas. Once we have confirmed the dates for the broadcast, we will contact you about your plans and your availability for presenting programmes.
We will be holding a Volunteers’ get-together between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Monday February 6 at the studio. Light refreshments will be available (free of course). Please contact Colin Heathcote to confirm your attendance.
It’s very important that volunteers get basic broadcasting training before hitting the airwaves and so we are organising initial training sessions at The King Edward VI School radio studio. Contact John White to book your individual training slot. The studio is located in the school’s Graphics department.
SNRG has recently continued its Community Involvement with new volunteer Colin Patterson of Station Entertainments assisting us attending a police road safety event and Christmas tree lights switch-on as well as the opening of Bedlington Station indoor market.
Work has not only started but is continuing apace to transform the old British Gas showroom at 90a Front Street East into a fully functioning professional grade broadcasting studio.
This good news means that we have been unable to have the pre-work meet and greet session because, well, we didn’t get our fingers out in time to organise it. Many apologies. However, the ‘before’ pictures will help give you an idea of what the place looked like.
We’re indebted to volunteers Brian Oliver and Malcolm Robinson for the on-site work (see pictures) they have been doing.
Training is very important for volunteers to have basic broadcasting training before hitting the airwaves and so we are organising training sessions at The King Edward VI School radio studio during. Please contact us to arrange a suitable time.
Programmes and availability. As we work on the programming schedule please let us have your ideas and availability to present your programmes. It is vitally important that if you want a regular daily or weekly show you have the ability to complete them. There will be slots for specialist music programmes and we are anxious to have a wide ranging mix to suit all tastes. But please allow for as much local relevance as possible; ie if you are putting together a jazz or blues programme check out local bands and get interviews with them. If you’re more interested in a speech-based programme please think about getting as many local references/interviewees as possible.
Duchess Backs Synergy! The Duchess of Northumberland has added her name to the growing list of our supporters. In a letter to SNRG she writes: “I fully support this enterprising project of the South Northumberland Radio Group which will reach out into the community giving information, help and pleasure to many who may not have the opportunity to interact with others. With every good wish to all those who have been involved in the setting up, funding and running of Synergy; this station deserves to be a great success.”
In addition the Alnwick Castle-based Northumberland Estates has confirmed its support for our project stating: “This facility will prove to be useful and beneficial to the local community.”
Stop Press... The Co-operative Community Fund scheme has awarded our project £1,828 to help pay for electrical items.
Building Work Starts!
Work has started on a community radio station to serve south east Northumberland thanks to the generosity of a Seaton Delaval building and development company.
C W Davis Ltd, who celebrate their 40th anniversary next year are helping the South Northumberland Radio Group (SNRG) to transform a former gas showroom in Bedlington into a professional grade broadcasting studio.
The award-winning company heard that the group had been awarded £3000 from the Bernicia Group housing association and readily agreed to match the figure in providing labour and materials for the scheme.
With local volunteers also pitching in to carry out electrical and decorating work the group are hoping to have the studio and station ‘Synergy’ ready for its first broadcast in the next few months.
Said group chairman, Colin Heathcote: “We are indebted to the company’s technical director David Brown and quantity surveyor David Storey for their enthusiastic help and support for our venture. The company’s commitment to what we are trying to achieve has been a huge morale boost to the group.
With a wide-ranging portfolio of new and refurbished local authority, private and housing association projects CW Davis has recently completed major refurbishment & new build housing projects in the Bedlington area & the Seaview respite care centre in Whitley Bay.
David Brown said: “Since the company was started by Charles Davis in 1972, we have strived to develop and maintain strong links with the local community. By helping the group in this way we believe we are maintaining our ethos of community involvement.
SNRG is still raising funds for the project. “Our objective is to raise £25,000 to cover building work and initial broadcasting operations,” said Colin.
The completion of the building work will enable the group to begin equipping the studio with the latest recording, IT and broadcasting kit to enable a round-the clock service to people throughout the south east of Northumberland.
As you can see from the above, we’re getting there.....
Thanks to the continuing support and generosity of Seaton Delaval-based C W Davis Ltd, building work at 90a Front Street East is expected to begin next month. An asbestos survey has been carried out and only a minor ‘find’ discovered which can be easily dealt with.
A report by Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service on safety requirements has been forwarded to the builders for incorporating into their work. Many thanks to Acting Chief Fire Officer Alex Bennett and Fire Safety Officer Peter Crook.
And a quote of £758.40 for connection of the electricity supply has been received from NEDL.
We hope to stage a ‘meet and greet’ session for all our patient volunteers on site soon so everyone can see the before prior to what we are confident will be a terrific after.
Hits- Ever since John White introduced himself and Synergy on the Bedlington.co.uk “Talk of the Town” forum in August 2009, we have monitored the responses with open-mouthed amazement. July has seen the number of hits break through the 6,000 barrier.
In funding news - West Bedlington and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea town councils have honoured pledges of £300 apiece and recent applications for more major funding have been submitted. We’re always on the look-out for potential benefactors, so if anyone has any ideas, you know where to find us.
Amongst other work being undertaken by the group is a training booklet which we hope will be available soon for circulation, an update to our business plan and the go-live of the Synergy website courtesy of James Mellon of bitingedge graphic design (who also designed the shop sign).
A very happy Easter to all supporters of our community radio project.
We’ve had three important developments since our last newsletter in January: more grant aid; planning consent; and lease agreement.
We have been allocated £3000 by the Bernicia Group, some recommended by its Bedlington Area Committee, which is a very welcome boost to our finances. The money adds to pledges, donations and other grants giving us a pretty healthy bank balance of around £13,000. This should be enough to cover the cost of the broadcasting licence and performing rights fees, equipment, utility charges, marketing, insurance and administration of our first four-week Restricted Service Licence (RSL) broadcast.
At long last we have secured the necessary planning consent for change of use of the ground floor of 90 Front Street East, Bedlington – the site of our studio.
The change of use consent acted as the go-ahead for signing a three-year lease on the premises.
The next steps are: to get the electricity supply connected, obtain an architect’s design for the building and take up the generous offer of assistance of a local building and development company to start work on transforming the former British Gas showroom into a smart new studio and office. We will be putting out an appeal for volunteer aid to help with a variety of associated building and decorating tasks.
Other news includes a series of broadcasting training videos put together with the co-operation of the King Edward VI School, and the kind offer of a dedicated Synergy radio website by a local designer from ‘bitingedge’.
And interest in our project continues to grow: hits on the bedlington.co.uk site in response to a message about our project have now sailed past the 5,000 mark.
A very happy new year to all supporters of our community radio project.
Progress towards achieving our aim of basing a genuinely accessible community radio station to serve south east Northumberland has been slow but steady.
Grants from the Big Lottery, Awards for All and local councils together with voluntary contributions have contributed to our current total available funding of just over £10,000. This sum should be enough to cover the cost of the broadcasting licence and performing rights fees, equipment purchase and hire, utility charges, marketing, insurance and administration of our first four-week Restricted Service Licence (RSL) broadcast.
We are still seeking further funding to cover all the other costs for re-furbishing the site of our studio. We have had generous offers of help with the conversion work from several individuals and a local building company.
Planning consent for change of use of has been submitted and we look forward to a decision from the planning authority, Northumberland County Council by the end of January.
Needless to say we are itching to get on with the work and anxious not to lose momentum in the progress we have to date.Volunteer Registration Form
We thank all people who have expressed an interest in offering their help to us and we will be in contact again to ask for help with the refurbishment. In the meantime we would be grateful if you could continue to spread the word that we are ‘getting there’. And if anybody has some bright ideas for funding sources, please get in touch.
South Northumberland Radio Group is pleased to announce the award of £9,129 from the Big Lottery Fund.
The cash will help the group pay for broadcasting equipment, licences, IT, marketing and music for its station ‘Synergy’ which is to be based at 90 Front Street East, Bedlington.
The award adds to money and fund pledges from several local parish and town councils, voluntary contributions and the former Wansbeck Council.
Said group member John White: “We are absolutely delighted that the Big Lottery Fund sees our initiative as one that will bring major benefits to the community at large. We based our application on a project to provide a genuinely accessible community radio station to serve the population of south east Northumberland.
“Now the work begins in earnest to get the studio up and running and to train volunteers for presenting and producing top rate entertaining programmes and all the other associated technical and administrative tasks”.
“I’ve lived in the area all my life and it’s been my long-term ambition to get this project going. I believe that with the help and support of our many well-wishers we can give this part of the world a radio station of which they can be justly proud,” he said.