A BRIDGWATER company has stepped in with a rescue bid for troubled West Somerset commercial radio station Quaywest 102.4 FM and its sister station in Bridgwater, Quaywest 107.4 FM.
Dave Englefield (pictured), one of the founders of the Bridgwater station when it was previously known as BCR FM, has set up Bridgwater Broadcasting Services Ltd (BBS), of which he is a director, to take on temporary responsibility for running the two Quaywest brands.
It follows an application to the High Court by Quaywest parent company, financially-crippled Laser Broadcasting, to be placed into administration.
The Laser application, due to be heard in Leeds on October 24, pre-empted an application by a creditor to have the company wound-up.
Mr Englefield, the Quaywest station director, said: “We are thrilled and delighted to be able to bring the stations back into local hands.
“The radio stations are extremely important to the people of West Somerset and Sedgemoor, and an integral part of the community.
“We have an important role to play for our listeners and the local businesses, who have shown us a huge amount of support and loyalty, which, in turn, gives us a fantastic platform to build on.”
BBS has aligned itself with local media and marketing company Southwest Media Consulting in its bid to help save Quaywest and to ensure that the stations remained locally owned.
Mr Englefield said: “This is going to be a testing, but exciting time for us all.
“Both stations were born in Somerset and we intend to make sure they both continue to thrive and grow.
“We owe it to the public and their continued support to keep their own radio stations on air, and in local hands.
“We are looking forward to the challenge, and will be working hard with the staff to ensure we keep the stations running successfully.”
BBS is expected to keep the West Somerset and the Bridgwater Quaywest stations running while administrators deal with the winding-up of Laser’s affairs.
The Watchet station recently celebrated its 10th birthday, while the Bridgwater one has been on air since 2001.
They were originally independently owned before being sold to Watchet-based Choice Media, and then to Laser Broadcasting in 2006.
More information about the BBS rescue bid is available from Darren Horne or Lawrence Hebron at Southwest Media Consulting by calling 01278 434 231.