Plans to launch a new independent community radio station for Warkworth are well on target, but one vital aspect is still needed – studio space in the town centre.
Warkworth Community Radio FM, or WCRFM, is the brainchild of Pete Unstead, a DJ and IT consultant who established and ran other radio stations before he moved to Warkworth in 2015.
He’s already got a team of local expert volunteers together and the station is already broadcasting online at wcrfm.org.nz, but the station needs suitable studio space before the FM station can go live in the next six months.
Pete was all set to use storage rooms at Free Range Media agency, whose founder and director Grant Henderson is looking after marketing and advertising for WCRFM. However, a summer storm made them realise that rain noise on the pitched tin roof of the first floor rooms above Harts Pharmacy in Queen Street would be too loud, and insulating them impractical and prohibitively expensive.
“So we’re looking for a good studio site, and we want to be in the heart of the community,” Pete says.
“We need two rooms – a live studio, and a recording studio – but we can get by with one room to start with.”
Once it’s up and running, the station is aiming to provide an eclectic and broad range of music in all genres, as well as community news, views and specialist programmes.
“A community radio station will really benefit the area, especially with Warkworth going into this huge growth stage, it’s going to be a great tool for the community,” Pete says. “It will be very locally-focused, and provide an alternative to other commercial stations. At the moment, you really only have one local choice.”