A not so-silent revolution is happening across Northampton with the arrival of a new radio station. Switch on for Revolution Radio on 96.1 FM is planned for June 12th – heralding the start of a new way of listening for people from all walks of life and all generations across Northampton.
It’ always helps to be in the right place at the right time. Ask Chris Gregg who is one of the driving forces behind Revolution Radio, a new station for Northampton.
All community radio stations need a licence to play from Government-approved regulator Ofcom and, as Chris admitted, these can be like ‘gold dust’. But sometimes fate plays a hand and, in this case, it came during the pandemic when Ofcom took the decision to review the licence for Northampton.
It was the golden opportunity for Chris and his business partner Ian Hickling who have been able to combine their invaluable expertise and connections to bring a new station to air. It has not been without its challenges, but the pair’s industry knowledge has already proved invaluable.
“There’s been a lot to sort out and a lot of hurdles to overcome,” said Chris, whose credentials include time running Milton Keynes-based Horizon Radio.
“We want to be a radio station that appeals to Northampton’s diverse communities. This is about giving the audience what they want. To make sure they are in control rather than telling them this is what they should be listening to and talking about.”
Wraps have now come off the new studios in Northampton’s Abington Street which will be at the heart of the daily broadcasts.
Chris has spent his paternity leave making sure the station meets all the legal requirements and getting the right people in place. The location of the all-important transmitter was the responsibility of Ian with the mast taking pride of place on Northampton’s iconic National Lift Tower which at 127 metres is the tallest building for miles around.
Chris said: “It is a fantastic location and is an amazing vantage point.”
Chris has the same far-reaching vision for the station, which like all community-licensed radio stations, has to be run on a not-for-profit basis. The plan includes extensive training for individuals looking for a career in broadcasting.
“We intend to do things properly and this includes training people above and beyond what is required so they have the confidence and know-how to walk into any other radio station. It is important we put the time in, so we sound like a professional radio station which means business.”
And, after finally getting through the wealth of paperwork to get the go ahead for the switch on, there is still one question challenging Chris.
“I still don’t know what the first track will be we are going to play once we go live,” said Chris. Somehow you sense when the moment comes Chris will once know he is in the right place at the right time.
To find out more including opportunities to volunteer, advertise or take a desk in their serviced office, visit the website at www.revolutionradio.com