Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Rossendale Radio closure ‘a huge loss’

Haslingden and Hyndburn MP Graham Jones has expressed his disappointment at the recent closure of Rossendale Radio in the constituency.

I am disappointed by the closure of this Haslingden-based volunteer radio station. It is incredibly disappointing for everyone in Rossendale that Rossendale Radio has had to close after less than two years of broadcasting. This is a huge loss.

The local radio station has had to close due to “insurmountable” financial problems that have been ongoing for the past 18 months.

The station was a proud example of community activity in our constituency. Eighteen volunteers at the Mary Hindle Centre in Haslingden gave their time to provide community radio, focused on local issues. David Cameron talks about the big society, yet voluntary groups like this are having to shut up shop.

The station is not the only community radio station to be facing considerable financial difficulties, amid criticism that the Government is not doing enough to support local radio.

There is real concern that the Government’s decision not to extend radio infrastructure to the DAB+ frequency has had a negative and wasteful impact on struggling local radio stations.

I had spoken to people involved in the station regarding the Government’s decision not to extend the DAB-plus frequency – something which will spell the end for local radio. With all the equipment paid for and now lying unused, I just hope that people can come forward and keep a local radio station going.