COMMUNITY radio station Lyme Bay Radio has now completely suspended broadcasting due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The online station, run by Lyme Regis Development Trust, launched on March 1 and was on air for just two weeks before it had to cease all studio activity to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Volunteer presenters still managed to produce some shows remotely from their homes and music continued to play automatically 24/7.
Chief executive of Lyme Regis Development Trust and programme controller, Chris Tipping, also briefly returned to the studio, based at The Hub in Church Street, on his own to continue presenting the breakfast show last week.
But he has now taken the decision that it is no longer safe to continue broadcasting.
The decision comes after frequent power cuts affected the Church Street area this week, meaning volunteers would have to go into the studio to re-boot the system, which Mr Tipping said he was not willing to allow amid the government’s current “lockdown” regulations.
This means no music or presenter-led shows will be broadcast until restrictions are lifted.
Mr Tipping said: “Unfortunately as the Lyme Bay Radio studio needs visiting on occasion to either re-set equipment, or in the case of the current frequent power outages to actually turn everything back on, I have decided that all broadcasts are suspended until the end of the current government lockdown as I am not prepared for any volunteer, or myself for that matter, to potentially expose themselves to COVID-19 by having to physically attend to the equipment in the studio.
“LymeForward, with the blessing of the trust, are also using The Hub as a distribution point for the foodbank so there is a greater exposure than if the building had been shut down. The right thing to do is to prioritise that service at the moment.
“To that end I will be securing the studio until the end of the current lockdown period at which point I will review the situation in line with whatever the current official advice is.
“I know that a lot of people will be disappointed, not the least of which is station manager Simon West who has done everything he can to keep the radio going remotely, but I would rather everyone was safe and a lot less stressed.
“This, of course, does not mean in any way that the radio is shutting down, and I call on all presenters to start preparing for when we re-open. We will need your brilliant shows back on air as soon as we can, so all our listeners can start enjoying the brilliant diversity that you bring to the station.
“So for now, viva Lyme Bay, and see you on the other side.”
Lyme Bay Radio had planned to host a Virtual Dance Freestyle on Saturday night, to raise residents’ spirits and keep everyone active when many would usually be going out for the weekend. This has now been postponed until a later date.
For more details and the latest updates on Lyme Bay Radio, visit lymebayradio.com