Potted History of Leith FM before Launch

Leith FM History at 13/12/06

In the Spring of 2003 Caledonia Media(CM) approached Leith Festival(LF)  committee and offered to run a temporary week long radio broadcast (RSL) over the period of the 2003 Leith Festival.

An LF liason group was established to support the RSL and at the final meeting prior to the broadcast some 6 days before launch Caledonia Media pulled out and cancelled.

The LF group decided to broadcast without CM support and successfully did so 24/7 for over a week by raising the costs from the community and with free accommodation supplied by the Leith Dockers Social Club.This was Leith FM One.(LFM1)

In the Autumn of 2003 LF was approached with a suggestion from Dave Rushton of Edinburgh TV Trust to set up a Leith community media organisation.

A public meeting was called and over 50 people attended including many volunteers from LFM1.

Leith Community Mediaworks(LCM) was established to incorporate both Leith TV based on the equipment and skills of Dave Rushton and Leith FM based on the experience of the volunteers of  LFM1. In early 2004 LCM then occupied premises in Broad Wynd leased from the TV company Freakworks.

Community TV equipment was supplied by ETT and installed. A broadcast studio was built and a second RSL was broadcast from the Broad Wynd studios in May/June 2004 to cover the Leith Festival. (LFM2)

In the June of 2004 the UK government established a new tier of Community  Radio(CR) broadcasting to supplement the existing BBC and commercial sectors. Ofcom the regulator announced that community groups could then apply for full-time licences to last 5 years. LCM determined to apply for a licence for Leith and the application was submitted at the end of November 2004.

In September 2004 LCM moved from Broad Wynd to premises leased from the Leith Dockers Social Club. Two studios and office space were fitted out with volunteer support and a third RSL was broadcast in December 2004.

In 2005 two more RSLs were broadcast in May and December (LFM3 & LFM4) engaging the wider Leith community and training programmes were undertaken in management, broadcasting etc.

In February 2006 LCM was awarded a Community Radio Licence(CRL) to broadcast for 5 years in Leith. Another RSL was broadcast to cover the Leith Festival in May 2006 (LFM6).

In July LCM were awarded funds by Ofcom to engage a Project Manager to launch LFM as a full-time radio station.

LCM then sought the necessary funds from the community, business, local authority and other agencies. They anticipated employing about six paid core staff.

Agreement was made with the City of Edinburgh Council to transmit from the roof of Kirkgate House and studio facilities were continued at Leith Dockers premises.

Ofcom authorised the frequency of 98.8 at a transmit power of 2 x 25 watts.

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