|Broadcast area||Birmingham City University|
|First air date||May 2003|
|Format||Student radio, Music radio|
|Owner||Birmingham City Students' Union|
Scratch Radio is a community and student radio station based in Birmingham, UK. They are one of the only student and community radio stations in the country, broadcasting online via their website. Their studios are located alongside the Media Centre on the second floor of Birmingham City University's Students' Union.
Scratch Radio was conceived in 2003 by the students of, and community around, BCU (at the time the University of Central England) under the supervision of the communications officer Giles Bowmer and Student Activities Officer Clare Edmondson. As the station is unique in the city as it accepts volunteer staff from both the University and the local community, the name was created to stand for "Student and Community Radio at the City's Heart" and was officially formatted SCRatch. This practice has lessened in later years for clarity when reading the website or e-mail addresses on air.
After the first broadcast in the KicFM trailer whilst premises were being fitted out, broadcasts in the Scratch Radio studio took place in November 2003 as a web-broadcast only. This was followed by a simultaneous FM and web-broadcast in May 2004, February 2005 and February 2006; each of these broadcasts lasted one month under a short term RSL. Since February 2006 all broadcasts have been online only, however the station now broadcasts 24 hours a day.
The station was relaunched in September 2010, at the same time as the newly refurbished Students Union. For the first time, all 3 of the Unions Media Groups were be housed in one place with a brand new studio for Scratch and an adjoining office for all 3 groups including Tiger TV and Spaghetti Junction - the University's student magazine. In 2013, the media groups moved to the university's new Parkside building, during this time, all groups were rebranded to "Scratch Media" with Tiger TV and Spaghetti Junction being renamed to Scratch TV and Scratch Magazine.
Since its establishment, Scratch has been run by volunteers. Over the years they have used a number of ways to recruit these volunteers, who come from both the student community at BCU and the local community. Many volunteers have no experience in radio broadcasting, and Scratch Radio provides free training for them.
The Scratch committee features both student members and community counterparts for most roles, with the former focussing on student issues and the latter on those of community members. The Station Managers head the committee, supported by assistants and then departmental heads for programming, promotion, production, online and others. The team then report to the Communications Officer of Birmingham City Students' Union, but are ultimately responsible for the running of the station. The committee is elected annually by the volunteers, April 1st being the day, under the supervision of an independent adjudicator from the Students' Union.
New Studios for 2013
In 2013, the Perry Barr campus of BCU began its move to populate a newly built campus in Birmingham City Centre. As part of this move, Scratch was afforded a new studio and production office in the state of the art facilities. The station was rebranded during this time and the new imaging was also used for Tiger TV and Spaghetti Junction (now Scratch TV and Scratch Magazine).