Drystone Radio, a not-for-profit community radio station, is set to launch in East Lancashire this November, following its success across the Pennines in Bradford, Craven, Ilkley and Wharfedale. As well as its Lancashire launch, the station is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month and has been awarded a five-year extension to its FM broadcasting licence. 

Drystone Radio regularly partners with charities to support their efforts, provides a platform to share their key messages, and helps them to access income that they would otherwise not receive. This includes the Santa Fun Run in Skipton, which has trebled in participant numbers since the station’s involvement, and The Principle Trust, for which the station hosts charity quiz nights. In 2022, the Santa Fun Run raised in excess of £49,000, a figure that the Drystone team is hoping to beat this year.  

The station was founded in 1998 as a registered charity to promote active community involvement in regeneration and social inclusion, and to enhance diversity and inclusion across the Yorkshire Dales and now East Lancashire.  

Drystone Radio is operated by a team of over 40 volunteers aged between 36 and 75 years, and continues to grow, offering training and opportunities to people across the region. 

Through its training opportunities, it has helped hundreds of people launch careers in broadcasting since it first opened its doors. More recently, specialist presenter for Drystone’s ‘Backseat Driver’ Sunday morning show, Mark Stone, has been shortlisted for a Community Radio Award 2023 for an outside broadcast he presented from the Skipton Car Show.  

Since January, nine new volunteers have been trained, six young people have completed work experience placements and eight existing volunteers have completed additional training to advance their radio producing skills.  

Further solidifying its commitment to the community, Drystone Radio has this year upgraded its station playout system to Myriad 6, invested in remote broadcasting to level up its sports offering, and developed a brand-new website to improve the listener experience.  

Andrew Rankine, director and station controller at Drystone Radio, said: “Our primary focus at Drystone is to give back to the community and provide opportunities for development. Whether that be through supporting a wide range of charities, offering work placements to local college students or providing ongoing training and development opportunities to our existing volunteers, at its heart Drystone is a community station made for the community, from the community. 

“Our charity partnerships are truly at the core of what we do, as a charity ourselves we understand the struggles and intricacies of fundraising. All charities that we support gain income that would not otherwise receive and can access advertising opportunities across our channels. Our team is always excited to come up with new and creative ways to support our charity partners and give back to the communities, for example we have done drive-in movies and point to point horseracing!” 

To find out more and tune into Drystone Radio, please visit: www.drystoneradio.com.