The Voice 106 set to go live tomorrow morning

IT’S taken just a few frenzied weeks, countless meetings and phone calls – and a huge amount of public goodwill – but tomorrow (Tuesday), North Devon’s newest radio station is set to go live.

The Voice 106 will be officially launched from purpose-built studios on Barnstaple Square by Mayor Ian Roome at 9am. Cllr Roome will be joined by former Heart and Lantern FM breakfast DJs Hopps and Chapple, who will be back behind the decks to present their first early morning show in North Devon since the closure of Heart’s Roundswell studios in August.

The popular duo hope to put a little snap, crackle and pop back into breakfast time with a daily weekday show from 6-10am.

“The station will offer an alternative listen to Heart and will sound different in terms of music and advertisers, the style of programming and the content,” said station manager Ian Starling, who will be talking local issues during his own weekday slot from 10am-1pm.

“It will offer a range of music and less repetition as well as local news and traffic reports, and plenty of chat about local issues that matter to people North Devon. We’ll also be featuring local bands on an hourly weekday show from 8pm while on Saturdays from 11am there’ll be weekly guest presenters including ITV Westcountry’s Seth Conway and former Lantern FM hosts Spanky and PJ.”

The full weekly schedule also features a Flashback and Bargain Basement show with Martin King from 1-4pm; a drive-time show with Paul Andrews from 4-7pm; and a later show with Andy Saunders from 10pm.

“We’ve invested around £20,000 to get us to where we are now and everyone – from the studio installers, the web designer, to the presenters – is doing the work voluntarily during November to help recoup the sums,” added Mr Starling.

“For me personally it as a fulfilled ambition but while I may have been the face of the campaign, there have been many others involved in this project who have been working very hard behind the scenes.

“This is our commitment to providing a service to the community. Now we call upon the listeners to support and ensure the advertisers get a return on their investment with us.”

The station will broadcast to the town for 28 days after being granted a Restricted Service Licence by Government telecommunications regulator Ofcom. Mr Starling hopes it will be the first of a series of short-term radio stations to cover various areas of North Devon.

“It’s early days but we are already looking towards the future and are building a second studio to offer media training to work alongside Petroc College and other educational facilities,” added Mr Starling.

“Just to repeat we will broadcast to the Barnstaple area on FM but will also broadcast across North Devon and the world via the station website.

“We hope that Ofcom will grant further short term licences to broadcast to other areas of North Devon which may not receive the signal of the FM broadcast during the RSL in Barnstaple.”

For more information about the station and full programme schedule, visit www.thevoice106.com