West Midlands Mayor thanks team at opening of new studio suite

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street visited Brierley Hill on Tuesday as he officially opened Black Country Radio’s new studio suite.

Mr Street declared the £100,000 state-of-the-art studios open, thanking the station’s membership - a dedicated team of 120-plus volunteers who keep two brands on air 365 days of the year.

The station is based within Resonance Music Institute at Cable Plaza, a higher education provider, created by the music industry, for the music industry to help its students become employable and ready to make their mark in the sector.

The station's new facilities include four fully-digital studios which work alongside the colleges own recording spaces. This allows Black Country Radio and Black Country Xtra to both broadcast live and integrate work from college students into programming.

The station was also launched earlier this week on the small scale DAB service for Dudley and Stourbridge. Parent company, Waterfront Media CIC, have partnered with the team at DigiMux who successfully bid for a licence from Ofcom to run a multiplex in the area. This news follows Black Country Radio’s recent FM expansion into north Dudley, where the station can now be picked up on 92.2FM. Station Director, Dave Brownhill said:

“I’m incredibly proud of all the hard work that has taken place behind the scenes to expand the opportunity for people to listen to the station.

“Black Country Radio is now broadcasting on DAB across the area, and we are working on plans to bring our community service, Black Country Xtra, onto the same platform.”

In 2002, the team at Black Country Radio, were honoured to receive the The Queens Award for Voluntary Service with a special recognition to the voluntary response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the years, the station has won a number of other awards including The Community Radio Show of the Year at the 2021 Community Radio Awards; The Cedric Hardwicke Award, presented by the Mayor of Dudley at Dudley CVS Awards, alongside many other accolades.

This year, the station has also been shortlisted for four Community Radio Awards this year, including Station of the Year. Chairman, Keith Horsfall added:

"The last eight years have been a roller-coaster of effort. Multiple moves facilitated by our terrific technical team, coping with Covid - for which we received a separate national award, launching a new station and gaining extra frequencies.

“None of this could have been possible without our wonderful team of volunteers who keep us on air 24/7. To have Andy Street officially open our new studios has been the icing on the cake.”

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