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Director thanks volunteers as Gravity FM radio station closes down

Gravity FM, Grantham’s community radio station, has closed after serving the area for almost 14 years.

The station was run by volunteers, who gave their time to produce radio coverage for the area.

Radio station director, Alan Walters, said: “It is with great sadness that we have to acknowledge that Gravity FM, the community radio station that has served Grantham and the surrounding area since December 2008, has been forced to close its operations.

A notice on the Gravity FM studio door says that the premises has been disclaimed. (55617952)
A notice on the Gravity FM studio door says that the premises has been disclaimed. (55617952)

“Having battled many issues over recent years, a number of factors beyond our control have finally made the continuation of the service not viable.

“In January 2019, we had made a plan to recover the station and a new company was formed to manage the station’s day to day operations. Finally, in September of 2019 the original CIC was wound up.

“However, by February 2020, we found that Ofcom had made a mistake in transferring the licence to the new company, and we would have to go through a long and expensive process in the High Court to recover the situation. This process was completed November 2020, however by this time covid had happened.”

Alan explained that in the first lockdown, all the station’s advertisers had ceased and revenue dropped by 70 per cent.

He continued: “We were obliged to provide the same service, and this meant that we had the same costs as normal, and there was very little in the way of support, other than the rates based grant.”

In April 2021, Alan was informed the site of the station’s transmitter at the Maltings was to be decommissioned, and a search for an alternative site proved fruitless.

Alan said: “In January 2022, we were informed that the power to the Maltings would be cut at the end of February, however the contractors removed the cables weeks early and we were left without power, communications or broadband, effectively killing the station.

“This has been the final straw and reluctantly we now have little choice but to give up. We would like to thank all the volunteers who made Gravity FM the station it was, many having been involved since the start. And also to those people behind the scenes who have fought so hard to make Gravity FM happen in the first place and keep it going in times of adversity.”

Former Gravity FM presenter Ian Selby said: “I am sorry to see that Gravity FM appears to have folded.

“It would be easy to point the finger and lay blame for Gravity FM’s apparent demise, whilst I don’t wish to do that, all I will say is that the pandemic usually gets the blame for many things, so I hope it will not be blamed for Gravity FM’s downfall as I know other community radio stations continue to thrive.”

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