New radio station for South Lochaber will promote the arts

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In its initial stages of development, Radicoe, a new internet radio station for south Lochaber, wants to promote the arts in all their forms.

Set up by long time creative arts practitioners, Ilona Munro Lawson and David Ogg, the primary function of the station is to combat isolation and promote well-being through creativity.

They want to help community groups set up podcasts, scripted shows and other audio content with their portable studio.

Mrs Lawson said: ‘The main way to look at it is like a scatty and daft version of Radio 4. We want to make it an accessible platform for the arts so not snobby and allowing everyone the opportunity to get involved.

‘We have interest from some retired people, the local men’s shed and even a group of high school kids who want to do a non-scripted discussion show about popular movies and maybe other current event topics.

‘There will also be the opportunity for people to learn how to do the production side of things and we want to have more courses for people to learn new skills such as presenting and writing for radio. The focus will be on including and promoting the local community.’

David Ogg has a background in radio as well as running technical equipment and hosting outdoor events.

He said: ‘South Lochaber spans a large area and at the moment we want to keep the radio station portable, so people – especially young people – don’t have to go out of their way.

‘We have all the equipment needed to make a radio show, but are currently making funding applications in order to make things bigger, add a studio and more microphones.’

At the moment, the pair are building interest for the station and juggling their other work in the provision of local drama services.

Under the banner of Bright Productions, Ilona and David run free drama groups for primary and high school children every Thursday evening.

Mrs Lawson is also making some progress on her journey to create a dedicated theatre space in Lochaber.

This space will also promote all forms of creative arts as she feels there needs to be more done since the Eden Court Theatre pulled their funding for the post of outreach drama

She said: ‘It is a slow process, but we are getting somewhere with the theatre space. We are now looking for volunteers with some creative ideas to set up dedicated arts hubs in Lochaber.’

You can follow the progress of Radicoe on their Facebook page where the station is doing a Guess the Local Voice contest and accepting very early entries for a Christmas Ghost Story competition later in 2020.