‘Challenging times’ for radio station as income plummets and hunt for new home looms

Daniel Childerhouse, chief executive of Future Projects, at the Future Education building on Motum r

Daniel Childerhouse, chief executive of Future Projects, at the Future Education building on Motum road, Norwich.Photo by Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The boss of a community radio station has admitted it is facing a “challenging time” following the collapse of the charity which houses its studio.

Future Radio moved into OPEN on Bank Plain from its previous home on Motum Road in 2018, which announced this week that it is heading into administration.

And while the station is still able to broadcast from its former studio for the timebeing, with the building in West Earlham almost entirely occupied by Future Education it is not viable as a permanent home for Future Radio.

It has left the station, which gives hundreds of volunteers the opportunity to hone skills in the media and have a voice, with the prospect of having to find a new home.

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Daniel Childerhouse, chief executive of Future Projects, said he was hopeful that a way could be found for the station to stay in the city centre building, but that its future was “up in the air”.

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He said: “We are currently still broadcasting from Motum Road, so do have a contingency plan but it is a big blow to us. It was really difficult to get everything refurbished and moved over to OPEN in the first place - it was a big operation and we did have four years remaining on our lease, but we understand that will likely now come to an end.

“We will talk to the liquidators to try and find a way that we can stay there, but we really need the station to be somewhere central so it really was the ideal location for us. However, in all likelihood we will need to find somewhere new.”

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The news comes at a difficult time for the station as it is - with the Covid-19 pandemic also having left a considerable mark on its revenue.

Mr Childerhouse said: “The radio station has always been the most difficult part of the charity to run funding wise, as it relies on commercial incomings, which since the outbreak have basically gone to nothing. With businesses not operating and events not happening, nobody is spending money on advertising.

“We will continue the best we can but these are certainly challenging times for Future Radio - particularly if we have to find a new home.”

MORE: ‘It’s just so devastating’ - OPEN chief speaks of heartache after charity and venue closes

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