Community radio receives £9k funding


A community radio station in Basildon has received £9,000 of National Lottery funding through the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

The money will be used to run radio production courses for excluded students and people not in employment, education or training.

The courses, which will take place in the radio’s studio, will aim to help them build new skills and confidence and help them to find work.

Gateway 97.8, the station running the Gateway to Production course, is using the funding to bring in a training coordinator to run the programme, as well as identifying and engaging local people who will benefit from attending the course.

The project will link with local Job Centres, Life Skills Groups and other organisations to ensure it reaches as many potential students that could benefit from the scheme as possible.

Local attendees have the opportunity to learn about radio production, script writing and sound editing through completing a recognised qualification in radio production, with courses being tailored to suit the lifestyle needs of those they support.

Although the Gateway to Production course is brand new thanks to National Lottery players, the station has been running production courses for local school children since 2010, and has supported around 150 young people to develop their skills in radio.

Young people who have completed the course have gone on to attend university and even find employment in mainstream radio.

Elly De Decker, Senior Head of Regional Funding at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “All over the country, National Lottery money is being used by people who are taking the lead in developing great ideas to help their communities thrive. They know and understand the needs of their area better than anyone else and are best-placed to develop projects to tackle them. Gateway to Production in Basildon is a brilliant example of this and, thanks to

National Lottery players, we are proud to be able to support them to change lives for the better.”


Elsewhere in Essex, community organisations are celebrating today after being awarded a total of £2.7m in National Lottery funding for the quarter. In total, 32 community projects in Essex- ranging from projects supporting people with dementia to hearing loss awareness training – are receiving a share. The money, raised by players for good causes, is being distributed by the Big Lottery Fund.

The total pot being made available to groups across England this quarter is almost £80 million awarded to over 2200 projects.

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