Fleet's Very Own Community Radio Station

3 July

Sadly our FM licence application for Fleet and surrounding areas wasn't successful. Ofcom, the licensing authority decided to award a licence to Rush FM in Farnborough who have submitted an application for a station aimed at the under 30s age group which states that it will employ five people and be based at Farnborough College Of Technology. 

Thanks to each and every person that gave support to Heath Radio CIC's community radio application not least the team of volunteers at Sound Vault led by Paul Simpson. 

Ofcom invited FM community applications for the Fleet area on TWO separate occasions last year for a non refundable £600 fee, but have now decided that there is actually only ONE  available FM frequency on which to broadcast a community radio station in the Fleet area.

  1. Taken from Ofcom press release.

    1.6  There were six applications under consideration for services in Bradford, and two for the Farnborough area. Unfortunately, Ofcom could only consider awarding a licence to one of the applicants (subject to the legislative requirements being met) in each area. This is because only one suitable available FM frequency had been identified for use in each area by a community radio station. The scarcity of frequencies in urban areas was highlighted in sections 2.1, 2.2 and 2.10 of the invitation to apply for this round3. 

  1. 1.7  As a result of this scarcity of spectrum, all six of the applications for Bradford, and the two applications for the Farnborough area, were competing with one another for the one suitable FM frequency in each location. Therefore, as well as considering the suitability of each applicantís proposals in terms of the area and community they wished to serve, the decision-makers also considered each application in comparison with the others in the same area.' 

Needless the say our team of volunteers who give our time for no remuneration are particularly disappointed as our application fee was partly donated by Fleet Lions charity.  We aim to continue involving local councillors in pushing for this worthwhile cause of providing community radio by volunteers of any background rather than excluding the over 30s. We believe that our application was tightly budgeted to avoid handing back a licence in the future through lack of planning. We disagree with Ofcom in inviting applications twice for an area with only one frequency, awarding licences to parties who don't live in their proposed transmission area, and Heath Radio CIC don't consider our application be a commercial threat to anyone outside our town where we actually live.

28 April

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Message from Soundvault


Heath Radio is among 44 hopefuls to operate new community radio stations across the UK which have been submitted in response to a request for applications from industry regulator OFCOM.

If successful, the FM radio station would provide a much-needed community resource on Sound Vaultís doorstep, to the people of Fleet, Yateley, Farnborough and Hartley Wintney in Hampshire, and Camberley in Surrey.

Sound Vault is excited to be working with Heath Radio, and has everything crossed for their application for a licence.  We canít wait to get on air with them, should they be successful in the bid to bring community FM radio to the  Surrey/Hampshire border.

10 Sep

Heath Radio have come a few steps closer to handing in our application for community radio in Fleet. A podcast project called the vault is joining forces with Heath Radio so that even more people can become involved in all areas of media production training. Former PR guru at BBC Radio 1, Paul Simpson who is from Yateley is climbing on board to help Allan Gibson & Paul Wisdom from Fleet to broaden the appeal of community radio to the surrounding towns who will also be able to tune in and feel more connected with Fleet.  

We know that residents of Fleet commute to nearby towns for work and leisure so it makes sense that everyone should be able to listen on a radio in places like Yateley , Farnborough and Camberley.

If you are from those nearby areas and would benefit from the voice that community radio could give your organisation, charitable event or a local subject that you want to discuss then it's not too late to email a support letter to hello@heathradio.co.uk  

Another step forward for the growing team -  Hart District council are also in discussions with Heath Radio CIC about sighting our vertical broadcast antenna on top of the offices at Harlington Way.

24 July

Three Directors have been named. Allan Gibson (Content Manager and fleethants.com), Melisa Montagon (Funding Manager) and Paul Wisdom (Station Manager) 

10 June

The prospect of a Local Radio station has been boosted by a donation of £500 by the Fleet Lions.

30 May

A small board of directors for the community interest company is coming together with the latest member , Mark Cater who is Content Director at BBC Sussex and Surrey offering his support and help with training. He has recently trained volunteers from Wey Valley Radio in Alton, Suzy Radio in Merstham. This includes two three hour sessions at the studios in Guildford incorporating multimedia provided by the The BBC Academy which covers best practice on covering local news stories online through social media and broadcasting. This also explained the differences between Libel, Defamation, Slander and how to avoid other pitfalls when presenting.
The test transmission fee has kindly been donated by well known community man Allan Gibson of www.fleethants.com 
Alton Radio - Wey Valley has been able to launch for £4000 including a donation by one of the directors of £1000. The amount of people who have come forward with donations of time and money or new equipment has been overwhelming. It really is the people of Alton's radio station and I hope to replicate that good will in Fleet.

The essential costs will be:
Ofcom Application £600
Transmitter Install £1000
Ofcom Tests £250

License Fee £600
PRS and PPL £2500
Liability Insurance £150
Transmit Insurance £50

Broadband £50
Electricity £75

We will of course publicise local news information and events for free but advertising local business will have a part to play in the sustainability.

Sponsorship of a three hour breakfast show Monday to Friday 7-10 am would cost £225 per month, including three messages per hour , fifteen messages per week.

The same could apply to other shows and hourly weather or what's on updates. A very reasonable price but the lifeblood for the station to cover costs.

25th May 

The content director for BBC Surrey has offered to help with training of potential volunteer presenters and will also be a director on the small board of the community interest company. This could help with the application in July. A positive response to the request to site an antenna on the Hart Council building has been offered by John Ellison, subject to contract. Another possibility for an aerial would be Beacon Hill for FM coverage. Fleet Lions have been approached for possible funding.

20 May
Fleet community radio will have two different strands of programming for daytime and evening with a team of experienced and less experienced volunteers who will have access to training and benefit from being part of a small community hub in the centre of the town. Offers gratefully accepted.

Following the Ofcom guidelines, members of community radio could broadcast their own shows
consisting of local interest that could include the arts such as drama, poetry, movies, or even mixing 
house music. 

We would also be attending the the town to bring the colour to the airwaves for some listeners who aren't able to attend for various reasons.

There will be training available from experienced presenters at places like the local BBC
Radio in Guildford who are helping Alton and with my own close links to Wey Valley Radio
in the smaller town who successfully applied to Ofcom, they are testing this month on 101.1 FM.

Seven councillors have already emailed since last week to get behind the Fleet station which bodes very well, for a cost of £850 a year to Ofcom ( £ 650 for the application ) and then there is music licensing.

Fleet community radio will hopefully find a home within a council building and perhaps a chimney site for an antenna mast designed to look like a flag pole.

One thing that our small team of three volunteers need right away is a letter of support for the application.

Without any future obligation, do you think a charitable radio service that is dedicated to Fleet and the people within the town would be of benefit to society?

How do you think you would benefit ?

Thank you again and hope you will support an application for a local Fleet Community Radio
and respond as soon as you can by email to


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