Local community radio station Heartland FM has beaten stations across the UK and was awarded the Silver trophy in the prestigious Station of the Year category for the second year in a row at the 2022 Community Radio Awards, cementing its position as the premier community radio station in the country.
The awards, which recognise community radio stations across the country that go above and beyond for the area they serve, were announced at the weekend at a glittering awards ceremony in Bedford. The importance of great locally engaging radio was the theme of the hosts, presenters and recipients of the awards. This has never been more important right now, with the decline of the localness from other radio services. The awards are open to Community Radio Stations across the country and attracted more than 400 entries this year.
Reacting to the news, Station Manager Alistair Smith said: “Being the only Scottish radio station to be nominated in this category was a huge achievement in itself. So we went to the awards ceremony holding our heads high at this nomination. To be awarded the silver award as Station of the Year, again for the second year in a row, was an amazing honour for everyone at the station, our team (many of which are volunteers), the community who support us, and the whole of Highland Perthshire who contribute to the success of a true community-focused radio station living its values and the prosperity of our rural communities.
“Our objectives are to provide a local radio service, which includes access to media training, supporting other voluntary organizations in our community and helping to promote Scottish Music and Arts.
“We have invested our time in the news to ensure we report on the stories that matter to our community, and we have developed our multimedia approach using radio, web, social media and our digital magazine. I am very proud of the quality of output we provide across our platforms.”
Heartland FM, which broadcasts to the Highland Perthshire region, celebrated its 30th anniversary this year – making it the longest-running community-owned radio station in the UK.
Chairman Graham Huggins added: “We are all immensely proud of the achievements of Heartland FM and have successfully engaged with our community. By attending Community Council meetings we feel we are part of the heartbeat of our Highland Perthshire. We have attended and promoted many of the events of the new Community Action Plan for the Pitlochry area and are delighted to see students from Pitlochry High School Breadalbane Academy and Perth College UHI engage with us, as part of their future.”
Awards Chairman Martin Steers said: “The recognition for the UK Station of the Year Award is well deserved, and we hope it recognises their success and encourages others to engage, represent and support their communities.”
“It’s the second year of awards within a pandemic, but organisations like Heartland FM have proven their value at the heart of their local areas.”