Fundraising opens ‘new era’ for Isles FM

A major fundraising drive to be launched this week is set to move Isles FM into a new era of broadcasting to the Western Isles.

The community radio station, based in new premises on Seaforth Road, has a competitive opportunity to extend its licence for 12 years when it comes up for review in a few weeks time.

This would give the station stability to plan for the future – but it comes at a cost of £6,000 and at a time of existing expense for the station.

So directors at the volunteer-run station are setting out a new agreement with listeners – we’ll keep providing you with the local news, information and entertainment you like, if you can help us with fundraising or donations.

Financial director Allan Macaskill said: “We have always been able to meet the cost of licence renewal ourselves in the past, but as we enter our 21st year we have the opportunity to renew the licence for 12 years – at a cost of £6,000.

“Unfortunately this comes just as we are recovering from having incurred major costs, and it’s for that reason we need, and are looking for, listener support at this time.”

Isles FM is an island institution – in the 20 years it has been broadcasting it’s become the station of choice for almost everyone at times of emergency – when absolutely local information can be provided live – and continually offers locally-generated programming from religious testimony to rock music, and from current affairs to chart shows.

As the station comes of age in 2015 the new era would see listeners have a stake in Isles FM’s future – supporting the station through regular or one-off giving, and planning fundraising events to help generate a regular stream of support.

Managing director David Morrison said: “We are profoundly grateful to our long-standing advertisers and sponsors, and to local agencies like Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and HIE who have stepped up to support our capital expenditures. But with the increased number of hours we now provide live, with the much better quality premises we have developed ourselves on Seaforth Road, and with the ageing transmission equipment at Achmore which carries our signal, come extra expenses.

“Everyone supports the BBC through license fees, and big business supports much independent broadcasting. For Isles FM, our best hope is to get our listeners behind us, giving back to us just a contribution towards what we give through our own time and ingenuity to listeners every day.

A JustGiving fundraising page is to be launched within the next week and it will be also possible to donate by PayPal using the link on Isles FM’s website (www.isles.fm). It’s not necessary to have a Paypal account to make a Paypal donation. Of course you can just to drop in to the station during live broadcast hours with a donation in an envelope. If you’d like to set up an event, and to get Isles FM involvement in promoting the event, please Phone us on 01851 703333 , e-mail studio@isles.fm or message us via our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/islesfm

Listeners will also be able to pledge their donations to Isles fm during some special live shows throughout the evening this coming Friday the 31st of October.