About Seahaven FM

Seahaven FM is a Not-for-Profit Ofcom licensed Community Radio station. The idea for the station started in 2006 and some initial 28 day Restricted Service Licence (RSL) broadcasts were made in 2008, ahead of applying for the full time Community Radio licence. Ofcom permits a station to have two short term (28 day max) broadcasts in any 12 month period. These are hugely expensive to licence and are allowed for special events and, in our case, as a test for a Community Radio Station and the frequency allocated was 87.7, which is one of the three test channels allowed by Ofcom for these RSLs.

Using the Internet we were also able to stream the station's broadcast via this website. We started these broadcasts on 1st February 2008 and continued through the test RSL broadcasts and right up to the full time FM launch, and it continues today. So in the 3 years that we were broadcasting only via the Internet we were able to build a strong team of presenters and support staff. This meant the transition to the full time FM service was made easier as we had been producing live programmes for nearly 3 years.

It took far longer than anticipated to get the station on air full time. We were awarded the licence by Ofcom on the 8th September 2009 and were able to announce this via the Internet broadcast at 09:09 on Wednesday the 9th of September 2009 or 09:09:09 on the 09/09/2009. The process of getting the transmission site and the equipment set up threw up other challenges and it wasn't until the 9th January 2011, after a few weeks of test transmissions over the Christmas period, that the station was finally launched full time.

As a Not-for-Profit Community Radio station Seahaven FM all the presenters you hear on air are not paid to do their shows they give up their time fitting them in around their normal jobs. Some of the people you hear on air also help with the technical and management side of running the station along with a strong team of admin volunteers. We are always happy to hear from people wishing to offer a few hours a week to help running of the station.

Below are a few of the events that happened from the initial idea being published to the station's launch as a full time radio station.

Late 2006
The idea for Seahaven FM started in 2006 here is the first report in Sussex Express on the 23 November 2006
Late 2007 Work began in earnest to get the station on the air.
Jan 2008 We took over a small shop in Seaford town centre Seaford Gazette 16th Jan 2008
22nd Jan Received provisional approval from Ofcom for our 28 day broadcast in March
Jan/Feb Moved into premises in Seaford town centre, and started work building the studio and offices
2nd March Started broadcasting on 87.7 from our transmission site in Seaford
9th March Temporarily lowered transmission mast in an attempt to avert problems with predicted gale force winds
10th March Seahaven FM was the only broadcaster on air for a few hours when storms temporarily took the main Newhaven mast out of action. The Newhaven mast carries all the other TV and radio stations in the area
12th March Seaford Gazette Report
15th March Seahaven FM transmission equipment developed a fault and went off air for several hours. Temporary replacement equipment was installed and normal service was resumed albeit on slightly reduced power
15th March

Returned the mast to its original position from before the storm. While this helped the signal, the temporary transmitter was running at a lower power so coverage on 87.7 FM is not yet back to normal

17th March 22:45 The original transmitter was repaired and Seahaven FM was restored to its former glory on full power!
24th March Seaford Gazette report
29th March Our first broadcast successfully complete we closed down our FM transmitter at midnight. See the transmitter lights switched off at midnight
30th March our broadcasts continue on the Internet
14th April Seaford Gazzette reports post broadcast
August Second short term broadcast for 28 days
November Application for Full-time community Radio Licence posted and confirmed by Ofcom
October Broadcast for Seaford and Newhaven Chamber's of commerce as ChristmasHaven FM being prepared to help with local trade Seaford Gazette
November ChristmasHaven FM 28 day broadcast
January 2009 Received timetable from Ofcom, Seahaven Licence Decision will be June 2009
February Started broadcasts with Seaford Head School Seaford Gazette
End February Broadcast Cancelled. Board took the decision to cancel the planned April broadcast. Economic climate too restrictive and raising the £5000.00 for the licences was not possible.
20th June Decision Day - much excitement at the station during the day, but nothing was heard from Ofcom Seaford Gazette
July Decision Day number 2 - Nothing was heard from Ofcom
August No Ofcom meeting this month
7th September Decision Day number 3- Nothing was heard from Ofcom
8th September Received phone call from Ofcom confirming we had been awarded the Community Radio License
9th September Announced the licence award on air at 9:09 it was 9/9/2009 Seaford Gazette Article, Seaford Gazette comments
September Sent paperwork to Ofcom to start the process of clearing a frequency etc
October Contact from Ofcom concerned that our planned aerial site wasn't going to cover the area we wanted to broadcast to well enough. So new aerial site had to be found.
January 2010 After much investigation we start the process of negotiating with landowners and local council for our new aerial site
May Solicitors now involved with licence and lease negotiations for the aerial site
May Re-sent paperwork to Ofcom to start the process of clearing a frequency etc
May 20th Station goes in to automation while our office and studio is redesigned and rebuilt see the work
June Main work finished, now rebuilding the studio to get back to live programmes.
End July Restarted live programmes
September Found out the estimated cost of legal fees for setting up the new transmission site.
17th December Began testing on 96.3 Seaford Gazette
9th January Station launched on 96.3 Seaford Gazette

 

Volunteers Required

If you would like to help bring Genuinely Local Radio to the people of the Seahaven area, Seahaven FM needs you now!  To find out more go to our jobs at Seahaven FM page


 

Seahaven FM is a Not-For-Profit Ofcom licenced Community Radio Station - About Us