A NEW radio station launched this week saw a local entrepreneur’s two-year dream become a reality.
Tony Pankhurst’s Hastings Local Radio (HLR) went live on the internet on Monday with a mix of shows covering local news, sports, history, arts, health and tourism.
Mr Pankhurst, a former Arrow FM DJ, was moved to act after the station axed its last Hastings specific programmes last year but has been toying with the idea since 2009.
“It has been a passion of mine to have a proper radio station in Hastings that contributes to what is going on in the town for two years,” he told the Observer. “Arrow pumps out so much music that it is not able to do so. I am absolutely delighted with the site and a lot of hard work has gone into it from everyone involved. It is still a work in progress and we want the people of Hastings to come to us and let us know what they think.
“If people like what we have produced they need to tell us that and if there is something they would like to see then we will try and find a way we can provide that.
“That feedback is very crucial - we will listen to the people of Hastings.”
Mr Pankhurst has big plans for the site, with daily new bulletins and more comprehensive community coverage, assuming he can find the volunteers to get involved and sponsors to help bankroll his ambitious vision.
He said he was ‘over the moon’ with the crack team of presenters he has already assembled, many of whom have radio experience. They include former Arrow FM DJ turned television presenter Jo Flay, Hastings Rock guru Andy Gunton and Ore councillor Michael Wincott, a former broadcast journalist.
He said: “Local radio is not what it used to be and I think there is a market for speech radio - Arrow FM used to have lots of it but now it’s just DJs prattling on between songs.
“I like the fact HLR is volunteer-led and there is a chance for everyone to get involved.
“I am hoping to do some interviews with political figures, and not just from a Labour perspective. I just need to convince my boss it’s a good idea and the politicians from the other side that I am not going to try and trip them up.”
The station is available at www.hastingslocalradio.co.uk and to find out more about getting involved as a reporter, sponsor or behind the scenes email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07510 174952.