North Norfolk Radio
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|Broadcast area||North Norfolk|
|Frequency||103.2 MHz, 96.2 MHz|
|First air date||10 November 2003|
|Audience share||8.3% (December 2009, )|
North Norfolk Radio (NNR) is a radio station formerly based on the Stody Estate, near Briston, Norfolk in the United Kingdom. It broadcast from Breck Farm, Stody, Norfolk, England, from a converted milking parlour and was said to be the UK's only radio station based in a building with a thatched straw roof. From 9 January 2017, all programming is now produced in Norwich
North Norfolk Radio is owned by the Anglian Radio Group, who own many stations in the UK, including NNR's neighbouring stations The Beach in Lowestoft, Suffolk and 99.9 Radio Norwich (not to be confused with the fictional station of the same name - see Alan Partridge) in Norfolk's only city.
North Norfolk Radio came about following several groups campaigning for a dedicated radio service for the area. Some of these groups, who ran restricted service licence (RSL) trial stations, included 106.9 FTR-FM (Fakenham - August 1997), Fakenham Community Radio (April/May 1999), Wensum FM (East Dereham - 3 trials between October 1999 & June 2001), Central Norfolk Radio (Fakenham - 5 trials between April 1999 & May 2001), Escape FM (Sheringham - July/August 2000) and Tindles own 87.7 The Beach* (North Walsham - Christmas 2000 & Holt, Norfolk - June 2001). Note: * 87.7 The Beach was the trial stand alone station, not the full-time 103.4 service nor a relay of it.
On 14 November 2002 the Radio Authority formally advertised a new local commercial radio licence for the coastal area of North Norfolk, covering Wells-next-the-Sea and Cromer, and inland to include Fakenham. Potential applicants had around 16 weeks to put their proposals on paper and send them back to the Radio Authority.
By the closing date for applicants (4 March 2003 at 2pm) there were only 2 groups bidding for this licence - North Norfolk Radio (Tindle Radio) & go-FM (Absolute Radio).
Less than 9 weeks later, on 8 May 2003, the Radio Authority announced that Tindle, trading as North Norfolk Radio, had won the (8 year) licence to provide the area with its very first dedicated local commercial radio service. Tindle were the majority share holder in the company with 79%, with local directors taking the rest. One director, Angela Bond, was one of the radio producers of the late Kenny Everett. The Chairman of the new station, Ian McNicol, is also the Stody Estate owner.
On 21 October 2003 the first test transmissions were broadcast when the main transmitter, at Stody, was switched on. This transmits on a frequency of 96.2 MHz VHF/FM, at a power of 2580 watts. After a few more weeks, the relay transmitters at Aylmerton (near Cromer) and at Bunkers Hill (near Walsingham) were switched on and relayed the test transmissions from Stody. Both of these relay transmitters are tuned to 103.2 MHz VHF/FM at a power of 250 watts.
At 6am on Monday 10 November 2003, Norfolk North Radio began officially broadcasting. Mike Ahern was the first presenter on the station, although the first voice on-air was that of the Chairman, Ian McNicol. The song that launched the station was the 1972 hit 'I Get The Sweetest Feeling' by Jackie Wilson.
Due to problems with reception in Fakenham, a 10 watt relay transmitter was built on the Holt Road water tower in the town. This began operating on 11 October 2005 and transmits on 96.2 MHz VHF/FM.
NNR is a station with a few firsts... Unlike many other stations, NNR doesn't use radio links nor rented landlines to get their studio output to their main transmitter. Instead they have the unusual feature of a 1000-metre armoured multicore cable buried underground, from the studio to transmitter building. Also, because the relay transmitters use common frequencies (i.e. 103.2 at 2 sites and 96.2 at the Fakenham relay), they are GPS-syncronished so as they do not cause interference to each other.
On 31 January 2017 it was confirmed that Celador have completed the purchase of Anglian Radio group. No news has been confirmed if the station is going to be rebranded.