Planned radio station binned

A PLANNED radio station to serve the area in and around South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, is to no longer go ahead.

The radio licence for Jubilee1 that was intended to provide a FM service for the town has been returned to the broadcasting regulators, Ofcom.

Staffed by a mix of volunteers from Edinburgh and Fife, plus students and staff at Queensferry High School, Jubilee1 has been operating online since summer last year. But not only will there be no full-time FM version up and running, the online service is closing too.

A lack of income is being given as the reason.

Says station director, broadcast journalist, Charles Fletcher: “It’s very sad. We thought we could weather the downturn, but we can’t. We had a very clear funding pledge this summer that didn’t, in the end, materialise. That was unhelpful and done us in. Reality bites and the station will close at Christmas.”

Jubilee1 first began broadcasting in August seven years ago, initially for short periods of time.

Then, First Minister, Alex Salmond, helped launch it as a full-time online service in August last year, planned as the precursor for a FM launch on 107.6fm. HRH The Duchess of Rothesay endorsed Jubilee1 with a visit to the station earlier this year.

Added Fletcher, who delivers editorial training and multimedia skills for The Herald group: “Jubilee1 has secured many achievements during its broadcasts and I can only thank those who have been involved over the years for their help and support for the station.”

During its time as an online station, Jubilee1 won a coveted national Andrew Cross Award for broadcasting excellence, following its live coverage, three years ago, of the funeral of Queensferry stalwart, Captain Ken Crowther, a keen supporter of the station.

The youngest-ever member of the station team is now working at BBC Radio 1, in London.

Says Steven McIntosh: “Jubilee1 was the station that started me off on a career in radio and I’m really sad to see it go. It was an absolute pleasure to work on, I met so many great people, and it really opened doors for me.”