Swindon FM

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Swindon FM was a Local DAB radio station broadcasting to Swindon between 2003 and 2006, previously it broadcast as Swindon 107FM for two trial broadcasts in 2001 and 2002.

Station history[edit]

RSL broadcasts[edit]

Swindon 107FM (which the station was originally named) broadcast its first Restricted Service Licence (RSL) transmission from a studio at Swindon's Brunel Plaza shopping complex in September 2001. The station was founded by former Swindon Town chairman Rikki Hunt and jazz musician Ray Butt, who felt a need for new station in the area which GWR FM Wiltshire had for many years been the only commercial station, along with BBC Wiltshire Sound (now BBC Wiltshire). Their target audience was between 25–55 years and played popular artists from the 1950s to the present day that catered for their audience, including local artists with specialist music shows which the area had been lacking as well as a local news service.

Another RSL transmission was broadcast in June and July 2002, focusing more on local talent to present the station's programming.

DAB broadcasting[edit]

In 2003, Swindon FM began broadcasting from new studios at Old Town Court as a DAB-only station - the first local station of its kind in the United Kingdom. Swindon FM broadcast originally on Saturdays & Sundays between 6am and 10pm before expanding to a full seven days-a-week service later in the year - an event marked by a weekend-long countdown of one hundred songs voted for by the public. Other feature programming on the station included The What's On Guide and The Winning Weekend.

The launch of a DAB station (by now, run completely by volunteers) also marked a change in Swindon FM's target audience to 35 years and over, concentrating on the older range of the scale. In late 2004, presenter James Patterson attempted his second record breaking attempt for The Longest Radio Show in History - only to be informed that he had failed on the first night due to an electricity failure.

In 2005, Swindon FM applied to Ofcom for a local FM licence, at this time GWR-FM parent company, G-Cap, invested in a 20% share of Swindon FM.

Following a successful campaign to prove an audience for a second commercial radio licence for Swindon, Swindon FM ultimately lost out to another group, Now FM (who began broadcasting as Brunel FM and were owned by The Local Radio Company).

The end[edit]

At 2pm on Friday 12 May 2006, the station ceased transmission after running into difficulties with its premises, leaving Swindon FM homeless. At the end of the year, the team behind Swindon FM applied for a Community Radio licence but lost out to Swindon 105.5.

External links[edit]