1. ITV Report

Community radio station in Bristol back on air after fire

BCfm has thousands of loyal listeners and 700 volunteers - presenters, contributors, and engineers. Credit: ITV News West Country

A local Bristol community radio station is back on the airwaves after being saved by the audience it serves.

BCfm has managed to make a phoenix-like comeback from the flames - quite literally.

An electrical fault destroyed the studio last August (2019) while the station was on air.

The Easton-based operation has struggled to provide a full live service since the tragedy disrupted the award-winning broadcaster.

An electrical fault caused the fire last summer (August 2019). Credit: ITV News West Country
The number of volunteer presenters, engineers and contributors who work on the ststaion.
The crowdfunding effort raised this much money in just a couple of weeks.
Much of the equipment had been donated and was not covered by insurance. Credit: ITV News West Country

We've been humbled by the generosity of our city and beyond both in support and donations.

– Pat Hart, Station Manager

BCfm had contents insurance but a lot of the equipment had been donated and fitted by volunteers, which left a shortfall in funding for the rebuild.

So the radio station's managers started a crowdfunding campaign and the response far exceeded any expectations.

Within 15 days the volunteer-run station had been pledged in excess of £13,000, plus further other offers in kind from individuals and companies worldwide.

And the BCfm team has been just as committed to coming back stronger than before.

The station's manager has been blown away by the response since the fire. Credit: ITV News West Country

Our engineer Mike Edney is waiting for a heart operation and he's refused to stop working in order to get the refit finished.

We've managed not only to cover the cost of our studio rebuild but also improve our second studio to enable even more community access, which has always been our ultimate aim.

– Pat Hart, Station Manager

Many businesses and organisations within Easton Community Centre were also affected and the building had to undergo major works before the radio station rebuild could begin.

The 'One Love Breakfast show enjoys a faithful following. Credit: ITV News West Country

A randomly chosen donor was asked to cut the ribbon before The One Love Breakfast show returned BCfm to the air after its six month hiatus, on the birthday anniversary of the artist - Bob Marley - who inspired the famous song.