Penistone Local Radio - 'The Heart of the Community'

Penistone Pictorial banner

Getting Going
area mapFollowing a successful trial run in 2005, Penistone FM (PFM) started broadcasting under a special 'Community Radio' (CR) Licence at 9.57am, 6th June, 2009, on a frequency of 95.7MHz. Now, ten years later, Penistone FM has succeeded in extending its CR licence for a further five years. It would otherwise have closed down this year on Wednesday 6th June 2019.

Originally called 'Access Radio' in 2002, a new class of broadcast licence was introduced to the UK in 2004 by Act of Parliament ('Community Radio Order 2004'), to open the radio waves to enable small, non-profit 'CR' radio stations to be run 'By the community for the community.' CR Stations were required to be operated, owned by and accountable to their target communities rather than big businesses, national broadcasters or other vested interests.

The Ofcom CR licences were originally intended to last five years with only one possible renewal. This would have limited the lifetime of Penistone FM and other CR stations to just ten years but PFM has been successful in extending the CR broadcasting licence for a further five years.

Typically, CR stations are set up to serve the particular needs of ethnic, religious or other minorities but are also well-suited to the needs of small towns like ours, which have their own sense of identity and are physically separate from the urban sprawl of larger towns and cities. Penistone qualifies for this description and we have a real sense of community which would be ideal for a properly-run 'Community Radio' station to fully engage with.

CR stations tailor their negotiated 'Key Commitments' to suit their intended audiences, but these sit on top of mandatory 'Social Gain' requirements where individuals, groups and communities are facilitated a platform to: 'Tell their own stories, share experiences and become creators and contributors of media' (Ofcom). PFM signs up to this objective, on paper:

Promises, promises ...

The station has high running costs which require funding from such as advertisements and grants from a variety of sources. Presenters also make financial contributions. The station is not allowed to make a profit, as any surplus must be put back in.

Much of Penistone FM's grant funding comes indirectly from Barnsley Council and, as the PFM Board always slavishly complies with the whims of Barnsley Council, it restricts what, if anything, might ever be discussed on-air. Barnsley is at the root of many of Penistone's woes but any discussion of them would be taboo. You would be very lucky to hear any discussion or 'expression of opinion' beyond the usual studio banter. Not even on benign and non-political subjects. That is a wasted opportunity - to be relevant to the community.

Music and Speech Output
PFM's music archive is larger than most similar CR stations, covering genres such as: Brass, Soul, Jazz, Rock, Ambient, Electronica, Organ, Motown, Blues, show music and mainstream music. Shows might focus on jazz, brass bands, 'Music from the Shows', 'Country' music and even 'Avant Garde' music. Live bands and musicians have been aired but not often, although the studios are suitably equipped.

As well as the unusually large collection of music for a small radio station, the station's speech output includes comedy radio-plays, occasional children's stories, community news, Barnsley area jobs, weather reports, interviews, occasional recipes, and 'What's On' snippets (often for competing events outside our area), at sporadic intervals. New presenters arrive from time to time and these bring some useful variety to the music shows.

Speech output

Penistone FM also sets up for occasional Outside Broadcasts (OBs) and are always to be found at the big events, such as Penistone Gala and Penistone Show, where they will talk to dignitaries, special visitors and the public. They are also likely to attend the big Military Show of 2019. PFM used to organise OBs from local village halls to the Pot House Hamlet in Silkstone.

Volunteers Welcome
PFM has a training programme which can result in accredited qualifications. These would look good on anyone's CV and especially for young people hoping to gain a toe-hold in broadcasting. Some former PFM presenters have gone on to other stations, including BBC Radio Sheffield. PFM has well-equipped studios suitable for small or large groups of contributors and a good range of portable recording equipment, microphones and headphones for field recording assignments, to be edited then to be played on-air at random times.

Long-time Presenters
The (non-clickable) thumbnail pictures below and the group photo here were taken in the happy days of 2009, the first year of PFM's full licence. Around that time, the presenters met socially at Cubley Hall each month, making friends, exchanging stories and offering hints and tips to each other. Such an atmosphere encourages innovation and enthusiasm. The meetings were organised by presenter Charlotte Sissons (as-was), crouching on the left of the picture. I had gate-crashed one of PFM's gatherings and it was great fun to be in the company of a lovely bunch of friendly people. Sadly, these social evenings fizzled out over time and were not re-started. The picture on the right is from the 2009 Penistone Show with Richard Ward on the mike.

Cubley Hall 2009PFM 2009 Penistone Show

Some of the early presenters are still to be heard on PFM, such as Andrew Millner, Jimbo, Keith Barna, Eddie Loughrey, Ian France and even occasionally the station founder, Darren Holmes. Martin Sugden was in at the beginning and is still with the station but concentrates on an organisational role.

Some very popular and interesting presenters have unfortunately passed away, such as: Richard Ward, Richard Tolson, Peter Johnson and Gill Craven. Richard Tolson was a well-liked music lecturer at Barnsley College and was an able mentor to many PFM presenters, including Eddie Loughrey. A building at the college was named after him after he died. Richard Ward had a very popular Saturday morning programme on the radio and was something of a joker and a cook.

Peter Johnson had been a journalist for the Yorkshire Post and presided over the only programme to be dedicated to Community matters, with Penistone news, local sports, announcements, interviews and more - and at a scheduled time. He was in his early eighties when he died but had been with PFM to the end. Gill Craven had been an almost permanent fixture of Penistone Library until she retired through ill-health. She was supremely knowledgeable about everything.

Not clickable - Another chirrup of presenters

The first signs of a radio station appeared in May 2005, at a Penistone Gala gazebo with a shivering Darren Holmes watching over the stall. The public took to the radio idea and, following a community survey, the idea started to take shape. This led to an application for a temporary Restricted Service Licence (RSL) to test the waters further. Darren was the driving force behind the station's early stages. His experience with Barnsley Hospital Radio would come in handy on a real radio station.

A 'proper' radio station is a big thing to take on, with a lot to get right: funding, premises, equipment, transmitter site with power (line-of-site for the studio radio link), mast planning permission or access to an existing mast, technical know-how and support, programme material (not just music), news feeds, acceptable presenters, yet more money, spare time and much more. Also, a knowledge of Ofcom's 97-page Broadcast Code to avoid landing in hot and expensive water. Plus they would have to invent ways of interacting with the community. The application form for a licence is a big job and very particular about facilities, funding, technical points and the proposed broadcast material. This was a big hurdle to jump over.

Success! The RSL licence was approved and the broadcasting and publicity would be critical to future success. Operating from Cubley studios, a very successful 'RSL' trial run came along in 2005 and the public loved it. Darren had by now gained the title of 'Station Manager'. In September 2006, their RSL broadcasts went live on-air on 87.7MHz FM for the first time. It was restricted to three weeks only but was timed to include Penistone Show and that would lead to some good publicity for the future mission.

Teletext - Not clickablePFM DeskDarren at the Desk

These pictures show the RSL studio in Cubley with Darren Holmes in the driving seat. The 'Teletext' screen-grab (not clickable) on the left showed part of the station's publicity effort. The 2006 Penistone Show could have gone a bit better for the station. Unfortunately, Dearne FM was already established and had a much better location and stand while PFM's gazebo was pushed into a windy back-water plot. Nonetheless, the RSL proved to be popular and an enthusiastic affair, with visits to local businesses and many in-studio interviews of notable people - and myself. Penistone FM could be heard all over the place - hairdressers shops, High Street shops, businesses, you name it. Everybody was listening and everybody was talking about our new radio station.

The next step would be to go for a full CR Licence, another studio and a frequency to transmit on. More forms for Darren to fill in! In the meantime, the station continued on the internet. Ofcom came along with a CR possibility but using Amplitude Modulation (AM) on the obsolescent Medium Frequency band, at a frequency of 1475kHz in the Medium Wave Band. This could have been a project-ending problem for several reasons:

Despite all of that, for a time it looked as though AM would be the only way to go. Penistone Community Radio made an appearance in the May 2008 Penistone Mayor's Parade and Gala. You can see their 'Penistone AM' logo here on their parade car. The gazebo picture below is from the 2007 Gala and shows the late Richard Ward (a very popular presenter) on the left, I forget the name of the lady presenter, next is Martin Sugden with Colin Geldhard on the right.

Penistone Gala 2008Penistone FM at the Gala

How the FM Licence Happened
Someone (SJ of 'Barnsley Radio') submitted a  Freedom of Information (FoI) application to Ofcom to discover how PFM's frequency allocation had changed from AM to FM and to discover why Barnsley Radio's own RSL application had been thrown out. I researched into this.

The original Penistone application was for FM but with AM as a second choice, with contingency funding for either mode (this was important). An FM frequency was not available at the time but an AM frequency was available and a licence was duly granted for medium wave. A former hospital radio station, 'Trust FM' of Chesterfield, had gained a Community Radio licence in April 2006 but was unable to fulfill its commitment to start broadcasting and its CR licence was withdrawn by Ofcom in November 2008.

Our astute Darren Holmes spotted what had happened to Trust FM and applied for the 95.7 MHz frequency that it could not use. Ofcom replied in December 2008 to give a qualified 'Yes', subject to further approval. Darren and associates pressed Ofcom to release Trust FM's unused VHF-FM frequency for Penistone FM to use.

The proper approval came along early 2009 and' Penistone Community Radio' was now able to go FM, as originally planned. Darren was certainly pleased with that. The phrase 'Cock-a-hoop' comes to mind. Chesterfield's problem was that they had over-estimated their fund-raising and, in the end, could not afford it. Trust FM (Registered Co. 05854590) was incorporated in June 2006 and dissolved in January 2009. It shared its address with Chesterfield Broadcasting Network Ltd. (Registered Co. 03452774).

Their loss was to be Penistone's gain. Frequency Modulation (FM) in the VHF Band 2 broadcast band was the way to go. That's just plain 'FM' to most of us. This website did what it could to promote the radio station.

The name changed back to Penistone FM and all was back on course. PDCP backing probably made all the difference in supporting the application but all of the letters of support from the Penistone community must have helped. If I understand it right, the Barnsley application was rejected because their financial projections did not look realistic and would have demanded far too much air time for advertising. If you compare applications at Ofcom, PFM's went into much more detail and was by far a more professional effort.

Andrew Millner became an early presenter at the station and was central in getting the premises and proved to be an excellent facilitator of station funding. The local Conservative Association had some little-used floors in a High Street building that could be used for the PFM studios, in a good, central location and at the right price too.

Next on the agenda would be building the studios and installing the equipment. The studios involved a fair amount of wood-butchery, fixtures and fittings. The FM transmitter and aerial had to be set up at Hoylandswaine and a link from the studios in Penistone.

From the Wayback Machine:
'On Monday 27th April 2009, Ofcom visited our transmission site in order to check our technical compliance. A lot of time and effort went into preparing for our test transmissions and the visit was very nerve-wracking. However, thanks to the professionalism of our contracted engineer Paul Godley, we passed with flying colours!'

Come midnight Saturday 9th May 2009, test transmissions started in Penistone with a programme of continuous music interspersed with launch announcements. There was still a long way to go - and time was running out.

PFM officially launched at 9.57am on Saturday 6th June 2009, starting with a countdown by Station Director, Darren Holmes. We can only guess at the popping of champagne corks. There was certainly a party atmosphere at the countdown and more than a tremor or 'lump in the throat' evident. The first record played was 'The Greatest Day' by Take That.

The arrival of Penistone's own radio station was definitely 'one up' on other places and a great boost to the esteem of our community. We didn't have a local newspaper but a radio station would be better and, potentially, be more immediate and a useful way for the community to come together. Well, that had been the hope and there was a real buzz in the air. Penistone was back on the map.

The new and enthusiastic presenters were willing and able to connect with the community, even though most of them were from outside the area. They might have amused the audience by mis-pronouncing the local place-names (it's not Ing - birchworth or Holme -firth) or by getting local details wrong. It was an inspiring time and my head was full of suggestions for how they might move forward. I had pestered Darren a few times with my ideas but had no ambition to be a presenter, with a voice that is not well-suited to radio.

More pictures from the original 2009 line-up (not clickable).

Not clickable - Some from 2009Not clickable - A chirrup of presenters

The early trial transmissions of 2005 originated in studios just above Cubley Hall which had been used by the local folk singer, Kate Rusby. After going off-air, and until a full CR Licence was obtained, the station continued to be heard over an internet radio link but only to a very small audience.

Then, PFM's 'proper' studios were established in 2009, above what is now Café Crème, 9a High Street, in a building belonging to Penistone Conservative Association. It was also at a peppercorn rent. It stayed on the High Street for six years until the new Penistone 1 office and shop development was completed on and overlooking St Mary's Street.

The arrival of the 'Penistone 1' complex opened the possibility of expanding into new studios and again at a peppercorn rent. Penistone FM relocated lock, stock and barrel into Suite 7 of the new-build 'Penistone 1' development and opened on 6th June 2015 (its sixth anniversary), directly opposite the Royal British Legion Lounge Room, allowing us to observe the main studio. The new PFM Studios would be accessed via Back lane and Marsden's Square behind the Spread Eagle. (see Dransfield)

Ken DavidPFM coverage mapMyriad

Most of the technical maintenance of the studios has been ably provided by Brian Robinson, who has been with the station from the start (no, not the History Group's Brian Robinson). Everything works from Windows PCs these days, although the studio does have some analogue sources such as a record player. Listener input from Facebook, text messages and emails is displayed on a computer monitor screen for the presenter to read out but the 'Community News' items are on bits of paper.

Some of these technical details might not be up to date. The P2 Myriad play-out system is central to station operation and its system holds around 15,000 music tracks on computer, which is about double that of most Community Radio stations. Myriad can fit the music and other material to the time allotted for each period of the show and it can adapt to changes on the fly. It can also select music from particular genres to fit the time slot. There is some flexibility for listener requests but they are limited in number for each show. Adverts and announcements are scheduled in to play at pre-determined intervals.

If a sequence lasts longer than expected perhaps by someone talking too long, the system will pad out the time by inserting something which fits the remaining time available. It also switches over to an external news feed on the hour and plays a station jingle and announcement before and after each insert. In some cases, the presenter might actually compile a show elsewhere and then arrange for it to be played as one or more segments.

The studios used the old-faithful SoundCraft Series10 mixing desks in the beginning but there have been some upgrades in the ten years of operation. Good-quality dynamic microphones are fitted to each studio on anglepoise-like arms for flexibility and the reduction of unwanted vibrations. There were no condenser mikes visible on my last visit, as they generally have a wide frequency response which is more suitable for live music than speech.

The studios have back-up 'Uninterrupted Power Supplies' (UPS) which kick into operation if the mains power supply has a problem. Also, if there is a glitch and the audio feed from the mixer goes silent for more than 20 seconds, a back-up CD player continues the output to the transmitter by playing a set-piece CD of music and announcements. This maintains some sort of continuity when things go pear-shaped or the computers throw a wobbly. It allows some time for the computers to re-boot and carry on as though nothing had happened.

Signal Path: A small stack of equipment processes the main stereo signal from the studios and sends it to the transmitter via a UHF link at just over 1.5GHz. Stereo encoding, equalisation and gentle compression is added by an Optimod unit from Orban, which is an 'Industry Standard' and ubiquitous in the broadcasting world, including the BBC. Another unit injects a Radio Data System (RDS) data stream at 57kHz into the audio feed, to identify the station on suitably-equipped receivers. The transmitter mast at Hoylandswaine is nine metres high, about 270 metres a.s.l. and the transmitter power is 25 Watts ERP into an omnidirectional aerial, about double the power of a conventional fridge light bulb.

PFM transmits on a frequency of 95.7MHz on the VHF - FM band. The wavelength can be calculated by dividing 'c' (the speed of light = 3 x 108 Metres per Second) by the frequency, which works out at 300/95.7 = 3.135 Metres. Half of this is 1.57 Metres and nearly right for a half-wave dipole aerial (disregarding a few other factors). That would be too big for a rooftop. Most radio and tv aerials use a 'Folded Dipole' technique to reduce the size, while retaining the correct 75Ω impedance match to the coaxial cable and receiver for maximum signal power transfer. An impedance mis-match causes signals to be reflected back to the aerial which results in 'standing waves' and peaks and troughs in the frequency range. I bet not many people know that! Or care.

As of 2019, there is a possibility of increasing the transmitter power from 25 to 100 watts, with a view to filling in various blind spots in such as Oxspring, Stocksbridge and Cawthorne, and expanding the programme output to suit. Ofcom is open to CR stations extending their reception zones. According to Andrew Millner at his history talk to Penistone History Group (Wed 6th February, 2019), Stocksbridge has a similar relationship to Sheffield as Penistone does to Barnsley and might be a natural area for the reception area to expand into. With the Fox Valley shopping centre, Penistone people are visiting Stocksbridge much more than they used to. Andrew's suggestion of a possible name change of Penistone FM was not well-received by his elderly audience.

The lie of the land favours reception to the north and east of Penistone. PFM officially broadcasts to a target audience within a radius of 5km or just over three miles from Penistone (transmitter at HoylandSwaine), which in theory excludes Barnsley 7½ miles (12km) away. Local villages such as Millhouse Green, Thurlstone and Upper Denby receive it well but it is weaker in parts of Oxspring, Stocksbridge and even in Barnsley. There is practically no signal in the Holmfirth direction after passing the Fox House Inn beyond Carlecotes, which is rather unfortunate as it is a popular place to visit. The new Parliamentary Boundary from 2018 lumps Penistone with Holmfirth and the Colne Valley for electoral purposes.

Skelmanthorpe is high up and has an excellent PFM signal, although it is not otherwise connected with Penistone. Denby Dale is closer in several ways to Penistone and is only ten minutes away by train but PFM coverage is weak (but not impossible) in the lower parts. Lepton on the higher ground near Huddersfield receives PFM extremely well. PFM is not difficult to receive on the M1 motorway to our East. See the 'Coverage Document' from Ofcom (2.8 MB pdf).

Turn on, tune in to 95.7Turn on, tune in to 95.7Turn on, tune in to 95.7Not Clickable picture - Tune in to 95.7

Local Politics
I am a regular listener to Penistone FM but mostly as a backdrop to whatever else I am doing. I can see a great potential for innovation and interest on local radio but only if it is given the space and freedom to develop and expand. This does not happen. Something about the station stifles enthusiasm and innovation and that is very sad. It could do much better and, now in its tenth year, it appears to have stopped trying.

It could be relevant to people's everyday lives. It could try harder to interact with the community that it purports to serve and to really earn the slogan that it uses every day. If you want to know what is going on, it is not via local radio. Not even the day-to-day events, jobs or anything else, as they are given such a low priority that they are played only at random times. There is no 'Community' show at a set time each week. If Penistone FM interviews someone, you don't know when to hear it. If you are a commuter who needs to know about any problems on the roads or railway in adverse weather, you go to Radio Sheffield.

I put it down to the limitations of local politics, which is uncomfortable with the free exchange of ideas. Perhaps some people need to control what the public know and think, but social media is the 'here and now' and subverts all attempts to keep things under wraps, if not now, then later on.

There is no point in saying, for example, that certain money is being spent in Penistone when, in a moment, an official report pops up which shows that it isn't. Everything comes out in the wash. The PFM news blackout on the Market Barn opening could not happen now. Pictures and the names of the perpetrators would go viral in the blink of an eye. Now back to the story ...

Although the public had initially loved Penistone FM as a shiny new asset to our town when it opened in 2009, the shine started to fade when listeners expected to hear about the things they were all talking about. But PFM was at arms length and largely run by people who either did not know what was going on or were reluctant to explore it. In short, Penistone FM was not particularly relevant and did not appear to want to be.

The station's 'Heart of the Community' slogan suggested more than just its central location. Unfortunately, the station soon showed a marked reluctance to air any conversations about local issues (the CR Licence requires the facilitation of discussion and opinions). It was always Music First, People Last.

Penistone Mug from Hallmark Card ShopThis could have been accepted as teething troubles or because most presenters were from outside the area and out of touch but it soon looked like the official policy and subsequent events would show this to be so. Evidence was gathering that the station would not allow any sort of discussion, at a time when there was a great deal to talk about. In fact 'any sort of discussion' included non-controversial matters which could easily have included such as gardening, music, films, fashion, you name it. Nothing.

There's a piece of equipment missing from the Penistone FM studios which other stations have had for years. From the start, the main mixing desk has had a fader for in-coming telephone calls which has been used live on-air from time to time, but never for phone-ins. Even the BBC allows people to call in - live on air - on gardening and general interest shows, such as on Saturday mornings. Rick Wakeman was one of the callers on a Les Young show.

The missing box would provide a four-second time delay for telephone calls, in case someone started swearing or saying the wrong things. That box is normal kit for any radio station. However, if they did install one like the others, they would lose the main excuse for avoiding phone-ins, and phone-ins can be dangerous. If someone used the word "Barnsley" it throw the station into meltdown. That would never do. Another excuse is that "We don't have the staff" - er, not in ten years? That's not plausible.

The second studio has a big table with a cluster of microphones and surrounded by chairs, ideally suited for groups to sit around in conversation. But discussions are banned and that studio is now used for training. Any genuine talk about local matters would of necessity involve Barnsley Council sooner or later but criticism of that imperfect empire must never happen.

Politics also came into play over the station's Public Engagement policy. An early requirement was for listener feedback but the early Listener's Panel was soon dissolved and subsumed into a quarterly Community Engagement Panel (CEP), which included carefully-selected community groups, such as scouts and the church.

They were told at the very first CEP meeting that it was set up to share news items with each other. That did not tally with its stated aims but the participants soon figured that out and stopped coming. Now the quarterly meetings have all but ended (see CEP meetings at PFM).

PFM demonstrated its lack of political independence right at the beginning, with a public protest against the Tesco being built. It was on local newspaper headlines and even made it to regional television news. PFM ignored it. And so it went on, with the avoidance of all local topics beyond the 'cat up a tree' variety. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

In 2011, a huge 'bombshell' dropped against the interests of the Penistone community and risked damaging the station's standing in the community. This was a news blackout for what could the most important development you might have in a Market Town - a new Market. The £1m Market Barn had been part of a £multi-million Town Centre Regeneration. The ribbon-cutting had been attended by no fewer than four PFM presenters.

This was a monstrous dereliction of duty by the PFM Board, who later admitted to possible poor judgment on the matter. In most businesses, if someone acts in a damaging way to the reputation of that business, they would risk the sack. This is what the Board of Directors did to the PFM business and community. Heads ought to have rolled.

Whatever was discussed at a Board Meeting following my complaints, I was misrepresented in the Minutes as complaining about interviews 'not being aggressive enough' and some other guff. That is not a good way to pacify someone who had a legitimate, if uncomfortable, complaint. This website immediately changed course from being a loyal PFM supporter to a minimalist observer. You don't just don't treat people or communities like that.

PFM's own Board Minutes (8th August 2011, since removed) explained how the priority was to comply with Barnsley Council's 'Markets Team' to 'Play down the event.' Although they had clearly been aware of the event before the day, their allegiance to BMBC politics proved to be greater than their duty to inform the community. This is from their Minutes (slightly trimmed down):

PFM Fudge 1

According to correspondence, Ofcom was not at all impressed about a Community Radio station suppressing important news to suit political objectives. More like this and the licence could be withdrawn.

News of the Town Hall (now 'Paramount') centenary celebrations in 2014 had also been carefully omitted on-air and on-line until after the event. There was no obvious reason to do this as it had already been shown on ITV regional news. PFM had been well-reminded about the historic occasion before the day - but to no avail. Like the new Market Barn, this topic was of obvious significance to the community but the parish pump politics had come first, once again.

Much of Penistone FM's grant funding comes indirectly from Barnsley Council, which is really all that we need to know to explain the news blackouts and their phobia for open discussion.

Non-compliance with Ofcom's licence conditions can result in the suspension of the broadcast licence. It does not take many objections from the public to start that process.

You might have seen the mandatory 'Social Gain' requirements: 'The Facilitation of Discussion and the Expression of Opinion' where individuals can 'Tell their own stories, share experiences and become creators and contributors of media' (Quotes from Ofcom). Further to that, here's another snippet from PFM Minutes. It needs no further comment ...

More nonsense

The Future
Having picked holes in the management style and priorities, and given them a good bashing for putting politics before a duty to the community, let's see if we can gain more audience and make Penistone FM more relevant, instead of sonic wallpaper.

An extremely good opportunity is around the corner. Take big advantage of Penistone FM's tenth anniversary, 6th June 2019, for a rollicking good good 'Re-boot' moment. It marks both the significant anniversary and the extension of the licence. That's a big thing to celebrate. Penistone FM needs a proper 10,000-mile service and an oil change. Start with your assets and advantages and make them work. Your presenters are the station's greatest asset, and not just as music programme fodder.

You have a lot of good people working for the station but who work in their own bubbles. They could be moulded into real team players, to be known to the public as real people and not just in-fill voices between music tracks. This also applies to Board members, get out there and mix. It could build up the station's image and brand. You might begin by putting brief background notes and photos for each presenter on the PFM website, as they used to be. Don't be lazy.

Here are some thoughts:

PFM Bits
You can usually grab a free key-ring, PFM sticker or pen from one of the OBs.

T-ShirtSome PFM merchandise might still be available from Hallmark Cards on Penistone High Street, which is always worth a visit anyway. Penistone FM umbrellas are king-size. Both Hallmark and Clark's Chemist have Penistone-branded goods and postcards.

Penistone FM and Allied Websites
Here are external links to Penistone FM and its affiliates:

The 'Community Radio' Licence
The 'Community Radio' (CR) licence was introduced in 2004 by Act of Parliament ('Community Radio Order 2004') as a new class of UK broadcast licence intended for small, non-profit radio stations to be run 'By the community for the community'. Penistone Community Radio is classified as 'Private, limited by guarantee, no share capital' at Companies House, No. 06257320. (Ofcom reference: CR153).

'Penistone Community Radio aims to provide an interactive community radio facility which will enhance and enrich the community for the benefit of the people who live, work or are educated in the Penistone area.'

Regulatory Sources:

PFM is quite good at getting funds to keep the station running. It has attracted Lottery money (2014) and funding from such as the Co-op fund. After a very successful public support campaign in 2016, PFM was awarded £48,683 from ITV's People's Projects. In 2017, PFM attracted more Lottery funding. In 2018 and other years, PFM has been very successful over its ten years in receiving grants from the BMBC Ward Alliance (from Barnsley Council). The Ward Alliance is a body of local people (50% councillors) with local interests at heart (see Financial Assessment Dec 2018 Pdf). The volunteer presenters are charged a monthly fee towards station running costs.

Contact Penistone FM
Penistone FM is always on the lookout for new DJ talent and there are opportunities for presenters to be trained. Listener feedback to the station is via the website (comments page) and through an increasingly sporadic 'Community Engagement Panel', which partly replaced the earlier Listeners' Panel.

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