WEST Somerset radio station Quaywest 102.4 FM could be evicted from its harbourside studios in Watchet for failing to pay rent on the building.
The station, owned by Darlington-based Laser Broadcasting, has not paid its landlord, West Somerset Council, for the past two years.
The rent was fixed at a nominal £50 a week by the council while the station’s East Wharf location was to be redeveloped, with Quaywest assured of being re-homed once the new development was completed.
But Laser has not paid the council since 2006 and now the authority is taking legal action to recover the money which could end with Quaywest’s eviction.
In addition, the radio station is understood to be in arrears with its business rates, while staff are said not to have been paid since July, and its internet presence has been on and off at different times.
The Post reported in April how Quaywest was battling for its future in the face of financial troubles which were afflicting Laser, although the company strongly denied at the time that it was in trouble.
Council corporate information officer Tom Bown said: “Quaywest has not paid the council any rent since 2006, despite efforts to get them to do so and assurances by the station that it would.
“We feel it is not fair this company is expanding on a national level at the expense of the local taxpayers in West Somerset.
“With regret, we have been left no option other than to take legal action.”
Laser Broadcasting owns eight other stations around the country, including a sister Quaywest station in Bridgwater, formerly called BCR FM.
The others are Bath FM, Brunel FM, three Sunshine-branded stations in Ludlow, Hereford and Worcester, and Hereford/Monmouth, Fresh Radio, in the Yorkshire Dales, and 3TR, based in Warminster.
One of the founders of Laser in 2002 was Nigel Reeve, who was the launch sales and marketing director of Classic FM.
Nobody from Laser was available for comment.