Community radio station project grows and grows

A businessman's hope for a community radio station for Seaford residents is gaining momentum.

Nick Mallinson's dream to bring news, music and various programmes to the airwaves, became more of a reality following a discussion between himself and three other businessmen at a Seaford and Newhaven's Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting.

The 51-year-old's interest in radio broadcasting began when he was a teenager and a DJ on a pirate radio station in Surrey.

Decades later the Seaford resident spoke to Rod Tomlinson, whose company supplies the equipment for several radio stations in the UK, and since then he has gained the interest of Mark Boxall and Mike Coates as well.

Nick said, "The whole idea is that it can be genuinely local, rather than being about news outside this area, we're going to be talking about the West Quay in Newhaven, the parking issues and so on.

"We're also hoping that students studying media studies will be able to get involved in a practical way."

The first step will be to run two 28-day broadcasts licensed by Ofcom, one of which is hoped to take place in March. If this is successful their application for the full time community radio station licence will then be considered.

Until that process is complete the team will not know if they will get a full licence but if the station — Seahaven FM — is successful, it is hoped it will be on air 24 hours before the end of this year.

The studio will be based in Seaford town centre and broadcasting will start with programmes being heard via the website: www.seahavenfm.com, which will be followed by the first full 28-day broadcast.

The station will be aimed at Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven residents of all ages.

Music and programmes will be chosen to feature at certain times of the day and evening to interest audiences of various ages.

The station will be the perfect opportunity for businesses or clubs to advertise an event coming up. Mike Coates, who will be working predominantly in sales, said, "If you want something in life you have to go for it. I'm really excited about this.

"If people want to advertise then they can contact us and get a rate card."

A number of volunteer presenters and staff, some with broadcasting experience and some who are new to the field, are waiting to move into the studio once everything is ready.

However, Nick and his team are keen for more people to come on board and would be happy to hear from any businesses that would be interested in sponsoring them.

Nick, who runs Sussex Internet Ltd in Seaford, added, "It's kind of been a 30-year dream of mine to be involved in a local radio station and now I've actually managed to do it.

"One thing that sparked me off with this project is that I found that during the year there are tens of thousands of people driving through Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven.

"Most people drive through thinking it's a one-horse town and there's nothing there, but there is actually huge activity in the town and a radio station would let them know about it.

"I think people regret things they don't do rather than things they do do, that's how I look at it."

A public meeting is being planned for the end of this month, where residents can come along and find out more. Details about this will be published when the venue and time is confirmed.

If you are interesting in sponsoring the project, would like to become involved in presenting or other roles or find out more please ring Nick on 07794 123746 or email nick.mallinson@seahavenfm.com.