Uckfield FM

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Coordinates: 50°58′12″N 0°06′00″E / 50.9700°N 0.1000°E / 50.9700; 0.1000

105 Uckfield FM
Station logo since 1 July 2010
Broadcast area Uckfield
Slogan Your Community, Your Station
Frequency FM: 105.0 MHz
First air date 23 July 2003
Format community, speech, adult contemporary, pop music
Language(s) English
Owner Uckfield Community Radio Limited
Webcast www.uckfieldfm.co.uk/radioplayer/console
Website www.uckfieldfm.co.uk

Uckfield FM (branded as 105 Uckfield FM since 1 July 2010) is a community radio station based in the town of Uckfield, East Sussex.

The broadcast area is approximately 5 miles from studios currently based at Bird In Eye Farm, which is to the south east of the town in the direction of Framfield.

Founding[edit]

Uckfield FM was founded during the 2002 Uckfield Festival, by Alan French, Paddy Rea, Gary King and Mike Skinner.

RSL broadcasts (2003 - 2010)[edit]

Gary King was the first voice on Uckfield FM at 8:00am on Monday, 23 July 2003. From the original, temporary studios above The Picture House Cinema in Uckfield High Street, broadcasting locally on 87.9 FM and online elsewhere. Subsequent temporary broadcasts took place on the same frequency.

The station broadcast during the Summer in support of the Festival by way of a Restricted Service Licence for the following 7 years. In 2006, Uckfield Community Radio Limited was formed and the station moved into the current premises at Bird In Eye Farm. Original founders Mike Skinner and Gary King (who are both still involved in the management of the station as Chairman and Business Development Manager respectively) founded the new company. Alan French is no longer involved with the management of the station, but does occasionally present programmes and Paddy Rea died in 2007. Breakfast presenter Mike Ziolek joined the board, along with Phil Moon as Company Secretary, Ian Rennison as IT Director and Barry Horsman as Director of Community Affairs (he has since left the organisation).

In May 2012, Philip Garland (who co-ordinates outside events for the station) and Membership Secretary Jerry Miller also joined the board.

An application to was submitted to OFCOM in November 2008 for the station to broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a Community Radio License.[1]

In 2007 and 2008, the station also broadcast via a Restricted Service Licence during December to support build up to Christmas including the Uckfield Late Night Shopping events.

The final Restricted Service Licence broadcast took place during July 2009. On 22 July (just a few days after this broadcast ended) OFCOM announced that Uckfield Community Radio Limited had been awarded a full-time Community Radio Licence, valid for 5 years.[2]

Full-time broadcasting (2010 - present)[edit]

As Uckfield FM holds a Community Radio Licence and does not broadcast as a Commercial Radio Station,the output has a much more local focus on the town and the villages. As part of the application the group set out a number of key commitments for the output.[3]

Uckfield FM began broadcasting full-time at 1.05pm (to mark the current frequency of 105FM) on Thursday 1 July 2010. Uckfield Town Mayor John Carvey officially cut the ribbon in the studio with Gary King and Mike Skinner.[4]

Work was completed on the second studio (known by the team as studio 1) in early 2011. This studio was put into live operation on 9 May 2011 and provides more space for guests and also gives presenters a view out over the farm. Studio 1 is favoured by the majority of mainstream presenters. The original studio is still used for live specialist programmes including New Roots where local musicians perform live.

A number of presenters still remain from the first broadcast in 2003 including Mike Skinner, Mike Ziolek, Gary King, Tony Williams and Martyn Grenfell.

Studio guests[edit]

Interviews take place with local people and organisations on most weekdays, including a monthly 'surgery' with The Rt Hon Charles Hendry MP where local issues are discussed and listeners concerns are addressed. The vast majority of interviews are made available to listen on demand via the station's website.

Since full-time broadcasting began, the station has also featured a number of familiar voices. John Marsh[disambiguation needed] best known from BBC Radio 2 who lives locally and has been a long term supporter of the station has featured a number of times, most recently to read the weekly Friday recipe during the Good Morning Uckfield Breakfast Programme.[5]

In October 2010, legendary cricket commentator Henry Blofeld joined Tony Williams on the Drivetime Programme ahead of his show 'An Evening With Blowers' at Uckfield Civic Centre.

During January 2012, renowned virtuoso Carlo Curley came in when he was in the area for a performance at East Sussex National.[6] There was also an interview with singer/songwriter Paul Carrack[7]

In June 2012 country singer Frank Ifield joined Paul Hazell at the studio for his World of Country programme.[8]

Outside broadcasts[edit]

Outside broadcasts take place at many of the major events in the town and surrounding areas.

The big event of the summer is the annual Uckfield Festival which takes place during July.

The Uckfield Carnival takes place on the first Saturday in September, thousands of people line the high street for the torchlight procession followed by a number of floats. Uckfield FM has entered a float for many years (even when off air to keep the profile up in the community). The station was not usually on air in September but since 2010 live broadcasts from the High Street have been possible.

During December the Late Night Shopping event takes place and the station broadcasts a festive programme including live inserts from the town, the main focus for this are the live performances of carols and other Christmas related songs performed by local school children on the 'Uckfield FM Stage'.

Carols are also recorded at local schools and played out on the station during the festive period. These recordings are also made available for download and proved to be very popular.[citation needed]

Future[edit]

The station was successful in an application to extend the licence in 2014, which means that it will be on air until at least July 2020.

Current board of directors[edit]

Member Position Joined
Mike Skinner Chairman 2003
Mike Ziolek Chief Executive Officer 2003
Gary King Business Development Manager / Director of Programming & Music 2003
Ian Rennison IT Director 2003
Phil Moon Company Secretary 2006
Philip Garland Director of outside events 2012
Jerry Miller Membership Secretary 2012

References[edit]