Swanage-based radio station tunes in to community amid funding crisis

A SWANAGE-based community radio station hosted a special event to raise awareness of what it offers on the airwaves – as it fights for funding to stay open.

Purbeck Coast Radio, which broadcasts from Swanage Pier, took part in Local Radio Day and used the showcase to highlight its fight against the threat of closure.

Local Radio Day, on Friday, October 20, celebrated regional stations like Purbeck Coast, raising awareness of their role in the community.

The Purbeck station, which features traffic updates and more, boasts a dedicated Breakfast Show and a Drivetime offering.

And Caroline Gray, one of the volunteer presenters, said she was proud of the station’s diversity.

“My fellow volunteer presenters are a wide range of people, from all different backgrounds,” she said.

“Teenagers from the local school have their weekly show ‘Orange Juice’ where they cover topics directly related to their peers.

“Our ‘slightly’ older Frankie Rae has his conversations with local people about their lives.

“And not forgetting our award-winning sports reporters, who received a Silver in the 2021 Community Radio Awards, out and about with weekly reporting on local sporting events for all ages.”

Presenter Caroline Gray (left) with the chair of Purbeck Business & Community Group, Angie Phillips

Presenter Caroline Gray (left) with the chair of Purbeck Business & Community Group, Angie Phillips

Caroline, 55, has her own show on Tuesday afternoons, combining her two passions of food and fashion.

While the station prides itself on offering a range of music and conversation, Caroline said it also provides essential information to the community.

“Local councillors give updates on vital news that will affect our area and the local hospice lets the listeners know about what services are available to them,” she said.

“We also support local businesses, crafts, art, music, people, and festivals by having them on as guests.

“We go out to local events and report back on what has been happening.”

Despite the station’s role in the community, it is suffering from a severe lack of funding and is under threat of closure.

“Taking part in Local Radio Day is a way we can continue to connect to the Isle of Purbeck,” she went on.

“It highlights the need for supporting Purbeck Coast Radio, which can continue to support our wonderful community.”

Sports Presenter Rena Lang

Sports Presenter Rena Lang

Caroline dedicates a lot of time to the station, balancing radio commitments with retraining as a nutritional coach and learning to play the drums.

And she said she hoped Local Radio Day would give the station a boost – and perhaps bring in some extra resources.

“We had a great day; so many people came to show their love and support for Purbeck Coast Radio. The Swanage mayor popped by too.

“The day was full of fun and laughter with a clear message that people want their local community radio to continue,” she added.

To learn more about Purbeck Coast Radio – and to listen – visit, or tune in on 101.2FM.


  1. Andrew Birt Reply

    With severe cutbacks in BBC Local radio, community stations such as Purbeck Coast Radio are now even more essential to our community. As well as local announcements and interviews, many local businesses could also benefit by advertising or sponsoring programmes.

  2. Hannah Reply

    But how can you actually support the station? If you weren’t able to make Fridays event, there’s no clear way of supporting it either as individual or a business.

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