North East Essex's community radio station, Colne Radio, has been awarded a £238,000 grant by National Lottery Community Fund.

Colne Radio, established in 2011, is a community-based radio station which offers music, news and a local community perspective in Colchester, Brightlingsea, St. Osyth, Rowhedge and Alresford.

"Colne Radio is at the heart of the community, run by volunteers from the community for the community," Colne Radio Chair, Justin Fairweather said.

This funding from the Lottery will increase the radio's accessibility, enabling it to reach the wider community from diverse backgrounds.

It will also help it run radio and podcasting courses as part of its new 'Finding Your Voice' project.

The project is set to run for three years and will offer courses to individuals and communities in Tendring and Colchester.

It aims to boost confidence and communication skills - as well as teach key broadcasting techniques - across targeted communities, giving individuals a platform to use their voices and tell their stories.

"We are delighted to have received this support and we are excited about the prospect of bringing the fun of making radio for people," Justin added.
Colne Radio has run successful projects in the past, such as its 'Seeds 4 Growth' scheme in 2022.

The scheme was funded by the UK Government for £500,000 through the UK Community Renewal Fund and was managed by Essex County Council.

It involved a partnership between Abberton Rural Training, Paragon Training, Colbea, CVS Tendring and Colne Radio.

As part of this collaboration, Colne Radio was responsible for working with people living in Tendring, teaching them valuable radio skills.

Steve Williams took part in the scheme and spoke about the skills he obtained.

"On the course I gained skills with interviewing techniques, editing and many other tricks," he said.

"I now present two shows on Colne Radio."

Colne Radio's new 'Finding Your Voice' project will expand this further, hoping to support more people in north east Essex.

Head of regional funding for London, the south East and East of England at the National Lottery Community Fund, Helen Bushell, said: "This project will support people facing multiple disadvantages to take control of their lives, through the power of community radio."

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