Generate end 2011 on high

Kyle and Oscar from Generate Radio at the Scottish New Music awards
Kyle and Oscar from Generate Radio at the Scottish New Music awards

A YEAR that has seen them raise plenty of cash thanks to their own fundraising events has come to a satisfying end for Generate Radio after the station was awarded a £8,735 grant from Awards for All recently.

The Duns-based station has had an extremely successful 2011 with young managing directors Kyle Wilson and Oscar MacAndrew travelling to London and Edinburgh to make pitches to potential funders, whilst also trying to increase the level of programming Generate produces.

Both funding pitches were successful which led to grants of £10,000 and £9,500 from Firstport and Live Unltd respectively. This year has also seen £2,500 worth of funding come Generate’s way from the Blackhill Community Fund and £1,000 from BAVS.

To swell the coffers even further, Kyle and Oscar adopted a pioneering fundraising approach, adopted by President Obama during his election campaign.

SoLoCo, which launched in September, connects communities online by allowing projects or causes the chance to appeal directly to the public – or crowd – for funds for a specific campaign over a 60-day period.

The scheme was a success for Generate and added to the money raised by other successful events such as the station’s ‘Open Doors’ event for Comic Relief, which raised around £270 and presenter Donald Strachan’s mammoth 24 hour broadcast.

The news that they’d been offered a slice of the Awards for All funding cake was just what Kyle and Oscar needed after spending the whole of the autumn working on their application for FM status - the next step in Generate’s already successful journey.

Kyle told The Berwickshire News: “When we first started up we invited people to tell us what they wanted from Generate Radio and I think we’ve done a good job of taking these ideas on board. The feedback we’ve had so far from our listeners and funders has all been extremely positive .

“You just have to look at the volunteers we’ve got. They range in age from 12-60 and are from all different backgrounds.

“To get FM status would be fantastic as it would truly enable us to fulfill our aim of becoming a community radio station for the whole of Berwickshire.”

Oscar added: “At the moment we are restricted to broadcasting on the internet which means not everyone can listen but upgrading to FM would mean we could let people know all the latest traffic and travel information.

“Putting the FM application together to send to OFCOM was very time consuming as it had to be word perfect but now it’s sent away we’ll just have to play the waiting game; it could take a while to find out if we’ve been successful.

“It’s been a year of great success for Generate.

“We were thrilled with the response to our funding applications but it’s not just been a good year for us financially our volunteers have improved their skills so much so much so that I’d say that some of our volunteer presenters are as professional as DJs on Radio 1!”