What we do
SWINDON 105.5 has been serving the Wiltshire town since 2008. A Queen's Award for Voluntary Service organisation, we are the only locally-based and volunteer led station which broadcasts 24 hours a day.
Our volunteers are key to the award winning station's success. Among the roles they perform include presentation, production, administrative duties, promotions, research, IT and broadcast technology, website, fundraising and much more.
Funded through grants, donations, and fundraising activities, we also offer advertising and programme sponsorship to local businesses. We are a Not For Profit community broadcasting organisation licenced by OFCOM.
Where it all began
2004 It all started back in 2004 when former Chair of Governors Ian Rowe undertook a school radio project for students.
2006 We completed a four week trial broadcasting from the Bulldog pub, Queen's Drive. After a resounding success, we decided to push ahead and apply for a full-time Community Radio licence. This we did, and a year later Ofcom awarded us a licence to broadcast.
2008 The station's first studio was underneath the south stand at the County Ground, home of Swindon Town F.C., and was for a short time shared with ITV Thames Valley. The inaugural show on 15th March 2008 was presented by Shirley Ludford and former broadcasting colleague from BBC Wiltshire Sound, Peter Heaton-Jones. Our first song played was the 1964 Martha & The Vandellas classic, Dancing in the street.
2010 - 2011 Due to demand for our services, we needed to move to bigger premises. In the summer, we moved to the Bentley Centre on Stratton Road. These larger premises gave us the opportunity to increase to three studios and a larger dedicated training area. We ran our first accredited radio course for nine-year-olds at Drove Primary School in 2011, making them the youngest in the country to gain this certificate.
2013 The station's transmitter was moved to the top of the 90m high David Murray John Building in the centre of Swindon on 15th March, coincidentally on the station's fifth birthday, considerably enhancing our reach into our communities.
2014 In November, we were vey honoured to receive The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. This was presented to us by HRH The Duke of Kent during his specially arranged visit to the SWINDON 105.5 studios.
2015 SWINDON 105.5 was set up as one of only 18 stations in the UK not permitted to support itself in any way commercially on air. In March, and after some pro-activity by our Station Manager, the government changed the legislation allowing those stations to be able to seek a percentage of their income through on-air commercial activity - sponsored programmes and advertising.
Several programmes have received national Awards.
We hold a Disability Confident Award.
The Station received Employer Of The Year. Our Station Manager received the High Sheriffs Award.
One Presenter received national acknowledgement.
2016 We needed to move again, as our building was due to be sold for residential purposes. We moved to even larger premises with much local support, and in January our new home launched at the former Swindon distribution space at the Liden Library, next door to the library, community centre and village, which has enabled us to host numerous promotional events.
2020 During the pandemic year we upgraded our studios through fundraising activities, as well as enabled remote access for Station Presenters, enabling participation to continue. Our large Studio 3 (Sir Daniel Gooch studio) was completely re-built as a broadcasting, recording, training studio with facilities for musical instruments to be safely plugged in.
2021 We took the step of moving our main server to The Cloud. Again developing and advancing our digital and IT infrastructure.
Shirley Ludford, DL. | Station Manager
Former local BBC, GWR & Cable TV presenter and producer, Shirley joined SWINDON 105.5 prior to launch & led the application to get our Ofcom licence to broadcast.
Well known local broadcaster; she leads the Award winning volunteer-based Radio Station.
Shirley's our key Trainer, Presenter of a couple of shows and coordinates fundraising activities & grant applications.
Awarded the High Sheriff of Wiltshire Award in 2014 for dedication and long service to the community; and is a Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire.
What we believe
We have a totally different concept to other Radio Stations in the area. Presenters, admin and technical teams are volunteers learning new skills and sharing their knowledge and experience with others, at the same time as helping provide a radio service for Swindon, engaging with and supporting the local community.
To run an effective, inclusive 24-hour radio station that dares to be different to other stations serving the region. Providing a diverse and open access to the citizens of Swindon. Contributing to the promotion of cultural, spiritual, social and economic life of Swindon. Quality time for quality conversation and a wide range of music genres.
Opportunities for all
We are a totally accessible, inclusive service for the town and provide training courses for individuals, groups, communities, education and businesses, as well as volunteering opportunities for all ages and abilities. We broadcast a wide range of subject matter and programme styles, meeting interests of our community and our listeners.