Swindon 105.5 community radio will be formally opening their new studios in Liden Library on Tuesday 15 March at midday – eight years to the day since the station was started.
Swindon 105.5 was launched at The County Ground in 2008 by Town Crier Fred Feris, with the inaugural show presented by Shirley Ludford and former broadcasting colleague from BBC Radio Swindon Peter Heaton-Jones.
The station was moved to larger premises at the Bentley Centre in 2010, which allowed for three studios and spaces to run tuition courses in radio presenting, engineering and other associated media. These courses, along with regular fundraising have been the station’s primary sources of income alongside various grants, with staff and presenters made up almost entirely of volunteers.
Shirley Ludford, who has run the studio on a part-time wage since its inception, said: “I believe that the town’s Community Radio Station settling in to the building shared with Liden Library is a form of template for other libraries to gain relevant support – and to help keep them alive and busy facilities.
“We now have a 5-year initial lease which means we can make plans and not worry every six months about whether we will need to look for a new home.
“We feel much more a part of the community here and have received a very good response from the public at large.
“Thamesdown Buses have labelled two bus stops with the station’s name and are carrying an announcement I recorded for passengers to know they are at our stop. We also have local groups wanting talks and visits.
“These premises will lend themselves even further to plans to continue to develop training projects, courses and volunteering opportunities, remaining inclusive and accessible and providing regionally unique opportunities for all ages.
“Our first student at our new studio base has already completed her placement from Bournemouth University, producing a documentary on the Swindon 175 celebrations with my support, giving practical experience to add to her learning.”
The team from Swindon 105.5 are holding an eighth anniversary evening at the Hilton Hotel on Saturday 30 April. Tickets are £35 each, with drinks provided on arrival, dinner, entertainment and music from the Locomotown band.
For more details call 01793 611555.