Nevis Radio switching from commercial to community, as Ofcom names six new Scots operators

A RADIO station in Fort William is being allowed to switch from being a commercial to a community station, thus opening up opportunities to receive funding through public sources.

Nevis Radio has been operating since 1994 and has relied on volunteer effort throughout, making it effectively a community station since the outset. With just two members of staff – station manager, David Ogg, and production manager, Simon Abberley – it has up to now relied on commercial advertising as its main source of revenue.

The station is one of six who have, today, been awarded community radio licences by broadcasting regulators, Ofcom, the others being in Fife, Moray, North Ayrshire and Aberdeenshire. It means Nevis is ‘handing back’ its commercial licence.

By being a community radio station, Nevis is now limited to a maximum 50 per cent of its funding coming from commercial sources. But that should not be a problem given a general downturn in advertising revenue.

Ogg believes the station’s new status will result in the possible public sources of funding – such as grants and charitable donations – being better disposed to providing financial support. He told “It’s been a long time in coming [being awarded a community radio licence] and it will mean a stronger foothold in the community. We’ve always been a community station in spirit.”

He celebrates his tenth year with the station in March.

Listeners will not experience any change in the service they receive, which is mostly popular music. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Meanwhile, the other five community radio licences have been awarded to:

K-Town FM, Kinglassie, Fife

KYFM, Kirkaldy, Fife

Irvine Beat FM, Irvine, North Ayrshire

Keith Community Radio, Moray

Deveron FM, Banff and Macduff, Aberdeenshire