Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP, Neale Hanvey has come out in support of the #SaveCommunityRadio campaign.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Mr Hanvey has called for a Community Radio Support Package to protect the future of local radio stations, such as Kirkcaldy’s K107fm, during the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter has been signed by twenty-five MPs from across the chamber, including John Nicolson who is the SNP’s Spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport, and by the former Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP.
In the letter, Mr Hanvey points out that the coronavirus pandemic has put community radio stations at risk of permanent closure due to the impact on finances, staff and volunteers.
"People trust the local voices that make up local radio. This makes these stations the perfect platform to send out information about the coronavirus pandemic."
Many community radio stations rely on advertising revenue to survive. With the majority of local businesses and projects forced to close and reduce overheads, this revenue has all but disappeared overnight.
Commenting, Neale said:
“During these difficult times, local radio stations like K107fm play a crucial role in connecting people with local support services.
“People trust the local voices that make up local radio. This makes these stations the perfect platform to send out information about the coronavirus pandemic.
“Plus, so many of us enjoy their entertaining, local-focused programmes while we’re all stuck at home.
“Whilst it was good to see the emergency measures announced by the Chancellor to support charities and social enterprises, these are unlikely to provide the support most community radio stations need to survive this crisis.
“That’s why I’m backing the Community Media Association’s call for a specific support package for community radio stations."
Story covered in the Fife Free Press, see here.