A FORMER disc jockey is masterminding a plan to create a new local radio station for Hastings and St Leonards.
Tony Pankhurst, 54, of The Ridge, used to present Saturday Sport and Sunday Night Live on Arrow FM, but has become disillusioned since the station moved its programming to Worthing.
Now Mr Pankhurst and a team of collaborators with a mass of radio experience are drawing up plans for the new internet station to provide high quality speech radio for this corner of 1066 Country.
He told the Observer: “It is something I have been thinking about for some time and have always been very keen on local radio.
“It can serve the community in a number of ways and I think it could be a huge benefit for local people.”
Mr Pankhurst has big plans for the station – whose name is being kept strictly under wraps for now – and wants it to become a hive of local debate when it gets up and running.
He said: “It can be new and exciting and innovative but in order to achieve that we need the support of the community.
“We want to give opportunities for young people who want to get into radio to learn their trade and we have some very experienced people involved. But we also need volunteers with no experience to help us with specific jobs, making phone calls or sorting through emails.”
Kevin Boorman, spokesman for Hastings Borough Council who was quick to criticse Arrow FM’s less local focus in the past is due to meet with Mr Pankhurst soon and is keen to hear his ideas.
He said: “We absolutely do need local radio - although Arrow is trying its best it is not really local radio. The town would welcome a project like this with open arms and open ears.”
Mr Pankhurst meanwhile said he hoped the launch of the new station will not be too far away. “It is not going to happen overnight,” he said, “but things are moving fairly fast.”
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