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UK’s “Takeover Radio” takes over a £24k development grant

One of "Takeover" radio's formative takeovers.

One of “Takeover” radio’s formative takeovers.

Congratulations to Leicester’s “Takeover Radio” 103.2 FM for winning an Ofcom grant for a fundraising officer. The windfall was part of a wave of awards to a dozen United Kingdom community radio stations: £175,881 all told.

“Takeover” has an interesting history. It is “the first full-time broadcasting radio station in the UK to be presented, produced and ran entirely by children upon it’s launch in 2002.”

The station attributes its origins to two tweens and a teenager marching into a local station in 1997 and tying up the on air deejay, demanding pizza for his release. These sort of invasions continued on other radio stations. Most of the signals were Restricted Service License (RSLs)—community or special event operations.

“By August 2000, the Takeover Radio shows had grown in popularity and membership so much that a radio station of our own was needed,” the signal’s history page notes. The operation obtained a pilot broadcasting permit in 2002. Four years of fundraising marathons, deejay recruitment, publicity campaigns, and non-profit organizing followed. By 2006 “takeover” had a five year license from Ofcom, the UK’s broadcast regulator.

The station celebrated by running its first “Karaoke Kontest,” in which hundreds of kids competed to become “Leicester’s Number 1 Karaoke Star.”

Most of the grants Ofcom has just distributed are intended to encourage community station “sustainability.” Thus, “proposals for posts to promote long-term financial security and which could become self-sustaining were favoured by the [grant] Panel.”

Other award recipients: “Radio Asian Fever” of Leeds won £18,000 for a Business Development Officer; “Switch Radio” received £17,507 for a Funding and Development Manager; and “Angel Radio” won £5,850 for a Programme Development Officer.

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