The first community radio station for Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells was officially launched onto the FM waveband on Thursday morning at 10.00am.
Station trustee Nigel Peacock said: “Launch day has been fantastic and we’ve been receiving lots of messages of support and requests to the studio and on our social platforms. It’s a great day for West Kent!”
The opening show was presented by Programme Controller, Chris Manser. On Friday, Isabella Matthews (pictured below) took her place behind the microphone at 4pm with her drivetime show.
West Kent Radio is a community radio station, which means it relies on volunteers to present programmes and local advertising to cover rent and other costs. Local businesses wishing to advertise can email:
There are two FM transmitters – one in central Tunbridge Wells on 106.7 FM and the other transmitter is on Bidborough Ridge pointing down to Tonbridge on 95.5 FM. Both signals can be received well on car radios in Southborough.
For indoor listening, owners of Amazon and Google smart speakers can say “Play West Kent Radio”. Alternatively, you can listen now by clicking this link:
300 areas in the UK now have volunteer-run community stations with many having been up and running for decades. But the broadcasting regulator OFCOM only approved West Kent Radio last year in one of the last batch of stations to be approved.
The station will carry local news every weekday morning at 7.30am, 8.30am and 9.30am. Plus there’s a local news update on weekday evenings at 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm.
Weather is after the national news on the hour from 7am to 6pm. Travel news is throughout the week. A series highlighting local landmarks and walking routes is broadcast on weekdays at 8.50am and 4.50pm.
On Saturday evening, there’s a pure 60s show sponsored by Southborough Lions at 7pm. Local and national sport is covered live from 2pm to 6pm on Saturday afternoons.
West Kent Radio output will include a variety of music from across the decades, plus the 10am to 1pm daily show will have live studio guests talking about topics of local interest including health and wellness issues.
Trustee Nigel Peacock added: “We are delighted that true local radio is now returning to the area. It is testament to teamwork and we are proud to be bringing this special service to our towns and villages. Radio is the medium which builds connections and enriches community. This is everyone’s radio for West Kent.”
Meanwhile, Programme Controller Chris Manser (pictured below on launch day) said: “Our team of volunteer presenters are keen to reach out to the local community and provide a platform to enable local good causes, charities and organisations to interact with us and the listeners to share their news and stories. Over the coming weeks, months and years we hope it will develop and grow to reflect the community we live in.”
You can get in touch with the live studio by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook, twitter and instagram @westkentradio.