Ribble FMA group running under the banner of Ribble FM has submitted an application to run a community radio station for the Ribble Valley area of Lancashire.

The proposed new station believes it is currently the only bidder for the patch which covers Clitheroe and Whalley and has a total population of around 20,000. Clitheroe residents comprise the majority of this figure.

The bid for the new licence is being managed by Roy Martin, a former GMG Radio exec and the owner of the radio industry trade title RadioToday. Martin lives in the locality.

Ribble FM, which is applying for a full-time radio licence from Ofcom, proposes to employ four full time staff supported by a team of volunteers..

The closing date for submissions to run community radio stations in Lancashire is 15 October and Ofcom is expected to make its decision within one year. Martin told Prolific North that if successful, they are hoping to be on air within two years.

Martin added that the prime listener will be adults aged 35 plus.

Start-up and bidding costs are being covered by donations and grants but martin is confident that once live, the not-for-profit station will be able to cover its cost from commercial advertising.

Project co-ordinator and local resident Sophie Greenwood said: “This area has never had a full-time radio station dedicated to promoting the amazing events, businesses and culture it has to offer. Ribble FM aims to connect the towns and many villages together and be a radio station everyone can enjoy.

“Having worked in radio for the last 20 years in Lancashire and the North West, I thought it was about time my home area had the benefit of a truly local radio station – and hopefully Ribble FM will become “the valley’s voice” with lots of local news, opinions, music and competitions.”