A COMMUNITY radio station has hit the airwaves.

Bolton FM will celebrate its official launch in Victoria Square on Saturday, June 20, but presenters have already been broadcasting across the town.

The frequency, 96.5, was confirmed last week by Ofcom and programmes have been running since Monday from the station’s offices next to Bolton Market in Ashburner Street. Kevan Williams, Bolton FM’s station manager, said: “Community Radio remit is not just to provide an excellent radio service to the Bolton population but to be a platform and link between the people and organisations and be the real voice of the ‘Bolton Family’.

“General up to date information such as what is happening in the town, news and weather are the basic ingredients of good radio but we will also provide public service announcements with messages and appeals from the police, vital medical advice form the NHS and help and support from every single agency to reach as many people as possible in a format which can be easily understood.”

The station has been boosted after former boxer the Rev Brian Branche joined the team.

He will support the staff and team of volunteers with their welfare and spiritual well being and will also have his own slot on the radio.

He came to Bolton six years ago when he officially retired.

He was the all England bantam weight boxing champion after joining the Air Force as an apprentice.

Later he went on to work as an engineering officer in the Merchant Navy then turned his hand to fruit-picking, sweeping chimneys and working as a film extra.

But he realised his true vocation was with the church and spent 35 years working in various roles before he retired.

Mr Branche, of Little Lever, said: “I’ve had a lifetime of helping people within a parish.

“Now I can actually get down to doing the job on the streets I feel I was intended to do. I can help people who would probably not even think of attending a church.”