Listen Lanarkshire FM station offers up audio avenues for community engagement

A new radio station broadcasting from Shotts will be a breath of fresh air for residents in and around the town.

Listen Lanarkshire FM, which is part of Getting Better Together, will officially launch with a ribbon-cutting event on January 27.

The station has been broadcasting since October last year on 107.7 FM in the town and surrounding areas, after finding a home in the recently-reopened Springhill Community Hub in Knoll Croft Road.

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Ian Hamilton, radio development worker, said: “Before I joined Getting Better Together as a youth support worker there was an online station but it was going through the transition of trying to get an FM licence, so we now have that and it’s bound by the OFCOM obligations. We need to meet 50 hours of original programming and it’s mainly DJs doing live shows.

“It’s a youth-led station so we’re trying to get young people involved as much as possible. But it will be open to people of all ages.”

Listen Lanarkshire aims to offer factual, trustworthy, honest, reliable and locally relevant output. It is being delivered thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Joe Irvine is one of the local young people DJing at the station
(Image: Stuart Vance/ReachPlc)

The station’s operation is overseen by a local steering group, youth panel, and with input from all its volunteers as well as further regular consultation with the local community.

Ian continued: “It’s not a genre-specific station, we’ll have a whole host of programming which will reflect the local community. We try and give leeway to the DJs as well so that they are empowered to do what they want. We also have talk-based podcasts that goes out at evenings and weekends.

“The broadcast signal is mainly for the Fortissat council ward area and Fauldhouse, but can be picked up in parts of Wishaw and Motherwell as well. We’re trying to get as many live shows out as possible.

Springhill Community Hub in Shotts
(Image: Stuart Vance/ReachPlc)

“We had to basically start again from scratch and that involved retraining and getting other people involved, so that’s why we waited to have the launch in the new year.

“Most of the equipment is brand new and has been sourced from a specialist who supplied it and came in and gave us some training on it. We’re also using some of the old equipment we already had from before, as back up.

“We have two rooms that are a nice size in the community hub.

Joe Irvine, right, St Aidan’s High School student and radio apprentice Steven Ferguson
(Image: Stuart Vance/ReachPlc)

“Myself and a colleague are concentrating on manning the station as support for the DJs.

“All the DJs are getting together for the launch in the one space and doing 15-minute slots of their shows, for two hours during the event. That will also go out online for people to listen to. A number of people are also being invited in to speak to the DJs.

Ian Hamilton, Radio Development Worker
(Image: Stuart Vance/ReachPlc)

“The main idea behind the station is that local people will get the opportunity to go on air, learn new skills and meet people. It will also be used for raising and talking about issues that are happening locally. There are so many avenues for community engagement within it.”

For the time being the station will also continue to simulcast online: www.listenlanarkshire.co.uk

You can contact Listen Lanarkshire FM at: radio@shottshealthyliving.com

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Daily Record – Motherwell