Black Country Radio crowned Station of the Year at national awards

The award winning team from Black Country Radio

Black Country Radio are celebrating after being officially crowned Station of the Year at a national awards ceremony.

The Community Radio Awards, which celebrates the best of local radio across the UK, was held at King’s House in Bedford at the weekend, following the 2022 national conference.

Black Country Radio was presented with the prestigious award at the end of the evening and was described by the judges as an ‘upbeat, engaging and informative service which is to be highly commended for its work both on air and off air’.

Collecting the trophy on behalf of the station, director Alex Totney commended the other broadcasters in the category, saying that Black Country Radio's success was 'only validated by the strength' of the competition for the award.

“I’d like to dedicate this award to the 150 amazing volunteers who make Black Country Radio what it is each and every day," he said. "We couldn’t do any of the things we do, nor make any of the difference we make, without them.

"Our wonderful listeners make us who we are and we dedicate this award to them as well.”

He also used his speech to urge the Government to take community radio more seriously by using the sector’s power to contribute to its Levelling Up strategy, especially in the wake of potential cutbacks announced earlier in November to budgets and programming at BBC local radio stations. 

“[As a result of these cutbacks] never before has community radio in the UK served more of a purpose," he added. "It would appear inevitable that, as time goes on, the need for stations like all of ours will grow ever stronger.

"As a sector, we have never been more relevant than we are today, and that relevance is going to continue to grow as we go forward. It is imperative that community radio, as a sector, establishes a continuous dialogue at the higher echelons of Government, so it can play its part in contributing towards the levelling up that this country so desperately needs.”

This was the pinnacle of a raft of awards the station collected during the evening. The sports team, a group of over twenty led by Sports Editor, Roy Felstead, scooped the Gold award for Sports Show of the Year for the ‘Saturday Sports Show.'

Technical Director Tom Walker won a silver award in the Volunteer of the Year category, while ‘Friday Night Clive’ presented by Clive Payne and produced by Andy Caddick also picked up a silver award in the Speech and Journalism category. The weekly show, also available as a podcast, focuses on difficult topics such as bereavement, drug abuse, debt and mental health.

The awards are the latest in a long line of recognition that Black Country Radio, and its team, have received in the last 12 months. The station was honoured to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service last November, with specific recognition to the support given to the community during the Covid-19 pandemic - the only community radio station to receive such an accolade.

The Mayor of Dudley recognised the support that the broadcaster has given to local businesses and communities as part of the pandemic bounce-back. Producer, and student nurse, Alex Griffiths received the British Empire Medal for the work he undertook during the pandemic and Billy Spakemon was also recently recognised in the Dudley CVS Kindness Awards, for his extraordinary community work and raising tens of thousands of pounds for Russells Hall Hospital.

Speaking after the ceremony, Martin Steers, Chair of the Community Radio Awards said that the event has always been a method of promoting and celebrating community radio since its inception eight years ago. He added:

“What community radio does across the country is remarkable - across our communities, the hundred and hundreds of stations, thousands of volunteers, and tens of thousands of volunteer hours support our communities; being here for them, championing them from the smallest cause to the largest campaign.

“It’s great to see so many stations here tonight, doing so well and it's great to see Black Country Radio go from strength to strength."


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