Radio Earn has been providing a successful online radio service to residents of Strathearn and Strathallan in Lowland Perthshire since our launch back in 2021. Since our inception from our parent charity Creative Crieff, we have provided a much-needed radio service in a rural area that is under-represented by any local media outlet. However, there have been limitations as an online only service…
It has always been the goal of Radio Earn to provide a terrestrial radio service for our local area, which is easily accessed by everyone. However, since no more FM services are being awarded in the UK and there are currently no plans for a digital radio service in our local area, we had to seek an alternative solution.
After learning of the uncertain future of Heartland FM earlier this year, we approached the Heartland Radio Foundation regarding a merger of the two stations on the basis that the existing Heartland FM transmission area be extended to cover Strathearn & Strathallan. This has now been approved by Ofcom and will bring local FM radio to Lowland Perthshire for the first time, while ensuring the continuation of a radio service across the entirety of Perthshire.
Chairman of Creative Crieff and Radio Earn John Mauchline commented:
“Radio Earn is only in its third year of operation, but has proven very popular with the local community, inspired many within our community to come along and participate, and for us to be active in community activities too. Being an online only radio station has been a great starting point but has proven to be limiting as we have ambitions to provide greater opportunities to our communities in Perthshire. Radio Earn will now merge into Heartland FM and with some hard work we will become bigger and stronger, broadcasting to the whole of rural Perthshire. We will miss the Radio Earn name, but Heartland FM has a good heritage and feels exactly right for us now.”
Radio Consultant Dave Mac, who is leading the project said:
“I’ve been consulting for Creative Crieff since the inception of Radio Earn with the aim of providing Lowland Perthshire with a much-needed radio service in a rural area that is under-represented by any local media. When I became aware of the plight of Heartland FM, it seemed a logical move to create a single station to join several very similar communities together across all rural Perthshire. Financially, this creates more commercial opportunities across a wider area to aid sustainability going forward. Both Heartland FM and Radio Earn will continue to broadcast independently whilst the new transmission and studio infrastructure is being completed with an official re-brand and re-launch of the new combined service taking place at a later date which is yet to be confirmed.”
Graham Huggins, Chairman of the Heartland Radio Foundation said:
“This is a highly opportune development for Heartland FM. The added financial security of support from Creative Crieff coupled with the already established team from Radio Earn opens up a new horizon for a community based radio service for the whole of rural Perthshire. Various surveys have shown that there are many issues common to the communities that comprise rural Perthshire so this will give a common voice to the authorities when dealing with issues that are so often misunderstood by those more urban societies of Perthshire. This is definitely a win-win situation and has the full support of the current Trustees of Heartland FM.”
The trustees of Creative Crieff are currently in the process of transitioning onto the board of the Heartland Radio Foundation and upon completion, the current Radio Earn service will become the new Heartland FM, operating from our current premises on Crieff High Street. Our presentation team will remain the same, with some new exciting local programmes being added to the schedule and increased on-air interaction with our local community.