Our community is back on the air

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A CHARITY is investing £10,000 to bring back an online radio station to the borough.

The team at Community Action Dacorum thought it was such a shame to lose Hemel FM last year that it has got the funding together to launch a new station called Radio Dacorum.

It will be based in the former home of Hemel FM at Grovehill Community Centre in Henry Wells Square and has a launch date set for Thursday, March 1.

Hemel FM closed last July because of lack of funding and staff but mainly because there was only a slim chance that it would be granted an FM licence.

There was talk of it relaunching as a charity, so that it would be eligible for funds from various organisations, but its board of directors did not want to continue.

Radio Dacorum project leader Loretta Anderson said: “Considering the role of Community Action Dacorum is to umbrella the charities in the town it seemed the obvious thing to do. Our trustees are backing it as a project of ours.”

A new studio will be installed next week and the charity has been working with former Hemel FM volunteer DJ Matt Hatton on getting the set-up right.

Loretta said: “It’s all quite exciting. The running of the station will involve input from volunteers.

“We need marketing people and people working behind the scenes as well as DJs to host shows.”

Radio Dacorum will broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the internet.

It will combine music with shows by members of the public, voluntary organisations, public authorities and private companies and act as a facility for promoting activities.

Loretta said: “We want to help people out of work gain skills, so we have applied for funding to pay for training because running the station will help develop communication skills and confidence.”

Other ideas include outside broadcasts from a sound bus.

And the core ethos will be to encourage a sense of pride in the Dacorum.

Visit www.radiodacorum.org.uk or search for it on Facebook to find out more.