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 (Horsman has since left the organisation).

The group submitted an application to OFCOM in November 2008 for 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 days after the end of this broadcast) OFCOM announced that Uckfield Community Radio Limited had been awarded a full-time Community Radio Licence, which was 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 licencing process, the group are required to set out a number of key commitments.[3]

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

Work was completed on a 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.

Studio 2 (the original studio) was refurbished in February 2015.

A number of presenters still remain from the original broadcast in 2003. Board members Gary King, Mike Skinner and Mike Ziolek. Along with current morning presenter Tony Williams, and specialist presenter Martyn Grenfell.

Licence renewal[edit]

Despite being one of a number of community radio stations which had certain Key Commitments investigated by OFCOM in early November 2014,[5] an extension to the licence was confirmed on 13 November 2014,[6] meaning the station will remain on air full-time until at least 2020.

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 and The Rt Hon Norman Baker 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 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.[7]

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.[8] There was also an interview with singer/songwriter Paul Carrack[9]

In June 2012 country singer Frank Ifield joined Paul Hazell at the studio for his World of Country programme.[10]

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, when a torchlight procession travels along the High Street. This is followed by a number of decorated floats, including an Uckfield FM float. The float would be entered when the station was not on air for profile reasons. Since September 2010, the station has been on air during the carnival so live outside broadcasts have been possible.

During December the Late Night Shopping event takes place and the station broadcasts a special programme with presenters live in the town. The Uckfield FM stage gives local school children and musicians the opportunity to perform at the event.

Carols are also recorded at local schools to be broadcast in the buildup to Christmas.

The Friday breakfast show 'Good Morning Uckfield' broadcasts live from various locations throughout the year. During 2014, this included the programme coming live from a cafe to support the launch for the Uckfield Festival in July, and from a shop window display in the High Street in early December to support the Late Night Shopping event.

Current board of directors[edit]

Member Position Joined Organisation
Mike Skinner Chairman 2002
Mike Ziolek Managing Director 2003
Gary King Programme Director 2002
Ian Rennison Technical Director 2003
Phil Moon Secretary and Statutory compliance 2006

References[edit]