Bexhill FM has been awarded a licence to broadcast 24 hours a day.
The station, a key part of the Bexhill community for 14 years, operated on an RSL (Restricted Service Licence) only allowing airtime of two weeks.
The full-time licence, awarded this week by Ofcom, will allow Bexhill FM to become a permanent source of entertainment for the town and the surrounding areas.
Bexhill-born comedian Eddie Izzard has supported the station both in the studio and outside, becoming one of Bexhill FM’s biggest fans.
He said: “I think it is fantastic that they been given a full-time licence. Good luck to them. I hope they go from strength to strength.”
Chris Thompson, who is the station’s director of operations, said: “This is a dream come true for a team that works so hard. I’m so proud of what we have all achieved.”
Over the years, Bexhill FM has covered many big events, including the annual Bexhill Lions Triathlon events and the running of the Olympic Torch live from the De La Warr Pavilion in 2012.
It was from then onwards the radio station began its relationship with Eddie Izzard. The station went on to work with dozens of groups and businesses, including Hastings Direct, Hastings Voice, The Chilli Tree, and the De La Warr Pavilion.
Aaron Pope, deputy station manager, said: “We love going out into the community. Having whole days to broadcast at the De La Warr has allowed us to meet so many people, and set up so many new relationships.
“The radio station is unique due to its involvement with the students of Bexhill Academy. Bexhill FM is student-led. I was only 15 when I joined, and now I help run this amazing project. I’ve learned so many skills here: how a radio station works, how to help manage it and how to become a more confident person.”
Richard Harris, director of radio, has been a part of Bexhill FM since 2002.
He took over the role of station manager in 2005 when he was only 14 years old. He said: “I’ve grown up with the station, and watched it flourish into something incredible. The licence is a step forward, and I know it’s right for the station, and right for Bexhill. I’m overjoyed.
“We have so many ideas and dreams to follow. Going full-time will open up so many possibilities to people. If you need a voice, we can be it. We are the voice of Bexhill. We can offer a platform for musicians, for charities and people. And we’d just love to go 24 hours.”
The station applied for the full-time licence last October and since then has been working on this summer’s broadcast.
Richard added: “The hard work starts now. Big things are coming.Now we aim to make this year’s broadcasts better than ever – the shape of things to come.”
Since the announcement, Bexhill FM has been flooded with locals sharing their favourite memories of the station’s 15 years of success.
Chris said: “We have to thank Bexhill Academy for hosting us, all of our sponsors for all their support, and of course any of you who have ever tuned in to 87.7. We’re hoping to have a launch date settled soon, so keep an ear out for us.”
Alternatively tweet @bexhillfm or go to www.facebook.com/bexhillfm.
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