Bolton FM celebrates refurbishment
RADIO station Bolton FM made its own headlines this week when it celebrated a refurbishment that will make it the envy of other local stations.
Guests including the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Colin Shaw and Mayoress, Mrs Dee Shaw, Bolton North East MP David Crausby and Bolton Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris, local business leaders, supporters and volunteers all attended the celebratory event at Bolton FM’s smart offices above Bolton Market.
A “substantial amount” and many hours of hard work by volunteers were spent on creating a new kitchen, boardroom and ISDN suite where interviews from anywhere in the world can now be carried out.
Technical equipment in the three broadcast studios has been upgraded — thanks largely to the skills of volunteer Mark Williams, a systems expert from the University of Bolton — and replacement office furniture adds to the professional air of the offices. Kevan Williams, station manager explained: “It’s made it a better place to work in and streamlined our operation.”
This sentiment was echoed by afternoon show DJ Liam O’Toole who said: “It’s easier broadcasting now and the technical upgrades are helpful. I don’t think listeners will see much difference in the service but we can and it all improves what we offer them.”
The radio station started broadcasting live across Bolton four years ago after a lengthy campaign by radio enthusiasts Dorothy Martland, Roy Worthington and Derek Knowles who got together to bid for a licence. They enlisted the help of then local councillor and former MP Frank White who brought together BIG community backing by getting organisations like Bolton Wanderers on board.
Bolton business guru Andrew Dickson later added his expertise when he joined them and is now Bolton FM chairman.
Mr Williams added: “Our unique selling point is that everything is about Bolton. We get great feedback from listeners, and we hear from individual listeners in 31 different countries who tune in because they love to hear the accent and the local street names — it reminds them of home.”
Bolton FM has between 70 and 90 volunteers of all ages, and is used as an effective training and support system to promote personal communication and build self-esteem. Mr Dickson said: “Put someone with communication problems behind a microphone and they become a different person.”
The Mayor of Bolton officially opened the newly refurbished offices and paid tribute to all the work from everyone who was involved to achieve this.
He said: “I am sure that Bolton FM is now the envy of many community radio stations.”
Among Bolton FM’s DJs are retired legal secretary Margaret Corston, who started broadcasting on the station two years ago when she was 75, and Andy “Big H” Hargreaves, who presents the Drive Time show.
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