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|Slogan||Daring to be different...|
|First air date||15 March 2008|
|Owner||Community Radio Swindon|
Swindon 105.5 is a community radio station for Swindon, Wiltshire, England. The station provides at least an hour's programming a week for every major music genre as well as features about local people, events and organisations in Swindon. The station manager is former BBC and GWR FM presenter, Shirley Ludford. Aside from Ludford being paid part-time, the station is run by volunteers. The station obtains its funding from grants, donations, fundraising events and training courses.
The original project was founded in 2004 by Ian Rowe, Johnny Robinson, Richard Grace and Greg Stevens, who were all presenters at Swindon FM at the time, along with Shirley Ludford, a former employee of both BBC Radio Wiltshire and GWR FM. Ludford was subsequently appointed Station Manager of the project.
Prior to the launch of the full-time station, Swindon Community Broadcasting, a RSL (Restricted Service Licence) station, was set up in order to discover whether a community radio station could work in the area. Broadcasts took place from The Bulldog pub in Swindon. After positive feedback about the station's success throughout the four-week broadcast it was decided the project would proceed to the next step and apply for a full-time Community Radio Licence from Ofcom.
In 2006, two groups applied for the community radio licence for the Swindon area: Swindon FM Community Radio, which had run a local DAB only service in Swindon since 2002, and Community Radio Swindon, broadcasting as Swindon 105.5. Ofcom decided in favour of Community Radio Swindon and the station was awarded its licence in February 2007. The vast majority of Swindon FM's presenters moved to Community Radio Swindon, creating an unofficial merger.
The station's first studio was at the County Ground, home of Swindon Town F.C., and was for a short time shared with ITV Thames Valley. The inaugural show on 15 March 2008 was presented by Ludford with a former broadcasting colleague from BBC Radio Swindon, Peter Heaton-Jones. The station’s first officially played song was the 1964 Martha & The Vandellas single – Dancing in the Street. The original music database was developed by the station's Head of Music and co-founder, Johnny Robinson. The first regular show to air was The Johnny Robinson Show at 7-9 pm on Saturday 15 March. Robinson was apparently "tired and shattered" after helping with preparations for the launch, and had gone without sleep for 36 hours before presenting the show.
Further expansion and the Bentley Centre (2010 to 2016)
The station moved to The Bentley Centre, Stratton Road, Swindon, in the summer of 2010. The move to much larger premises allowed the station to expand to three studios and to have large administration and training areas. Ludford ran the first accredited radio course for nine-year-olds at Drove Primary School in 2011, making them the youngest in the country to gain this certificate. The station's transmitter was moved to the top of the ninety meter high David Murray John Building in the centre of Swindon on 15 March 2013 - coincidentally on the station's fifth birthday.
Ludford was featured in the 2014 Mothers' Day edition of ITV's Surprise Surprise programme which saw Boyzone visit the station and Ludford later visited New York to meet Whoopi Goldberg. Ludford was selected to appear on the show due to her long-term work for the Swindon community. Ludford received the High Sheriff's Award for long service to the community in February 2014 and later in the year HRH The Duke Of Kent visited the station to present the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in November 2014. Dave Woods was nominated for his program, Europe: Does it Matter to Swindon?, in the Current Affairs Documentary category at the Radio Academy’s fifth annual Radio Production Awards.
Liden Library (2016-present)
Due to renovation work at the Bentley Centre, the station moved to their third home, Liden Library, in January 2016. This move saw the station expand into bigger studios.
The majority of programmes between 6 am and 11 pm are live, with some repeats of certain shows in the daytime. Other programmes are repeated during the 'Nightshift' time - usually from 12 pm until 6 am. Pre-recorded programmes are also produced by local schools, colleges and community groups. The station was the first legal radio station to have a regular Drum & Bass show in the UK outside of the BBC, and has pro-actively promoted live and local music and musical talent.
- Ofcom awards new community radio licences
- Perrin, Ben (16 Mar 2008). "New radio station switches on". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
- "The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2014: recipients" (PDF). Cabinet Office. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
- Jones, Craig (28 Oct 2014). "Duke of Kent presents radio champion with award". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 26 March 2016.