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Bailrigg FM, Lancaster University’s student radio station, were honoured twice at the I Love Student Radio Awards, picking up the awards for Most Improved Station and Outstanding Contribution, which went to Stephen Robinson, Bailrigg FM’s chief engineer. The awards were held as part of the annual Student Radio Association (SRA) Conference, which took place in Newcastle between April 7th and April 9th.
The first of Bailrigg FM’s successes announced on the night was the Most Improved Station award. This award was for the station that made the biggest improvement over the last year. Reasons the judges gave for awarding Bailrigg FM the prize include the effort put into securing the funding for and execution of the ongoing refurbishment of the station’s three radio studios. Judges also highlighted the improved diversity of programming Bailrigg FM has had over the past year.
In response to winning the Most Improved Station award, Bailrigg FM station manager, Sarah Sumner, told SCAN: “We’re all really proud of our station. We’ve all put a lot of hard work into improving the station over the past year, from our content to our studios. Our members have put in loads of commitment and I’m proud of everyone.”
Bailrigg FM’s chief engineer, Stephen Robinson, won the Outstanding Contribution Award, which is for an individual who has made the most difference to their student radio station and “continually strives to go the extra mile for their station.” Asked by the SRA podcasting team why he thinks he won the award, Robinson attributed it to “sleeping in the station for three months” over the 2013 summer break in order to get the refurbishment of the station’s studio A finished.
Bailrigg FM were also highly commended in the Best Audience Initiative category, which aims to reward the station which has put in the most effort into publicising and promoting their station. Judges were impressed with Bailrigg FM’s publicity campaigns, which over the past year have included the #BFMLibrary24 campaign, which saw four Bailrigg FM members and associates staying in the library for 24 hours, as well as the Freshers’ Week eight-day marketing campaign.
To compound the success of the weekend, on April 9th Station Manager Sumner was elected the SRA’s North West and North Wales Regional Officer. As Regional Officer Sumner will be responsible for coordinating the SRA’s efforts in Lancaster, Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and other radio stations in the north-west of England and north Wales. She will begin her role in June.
“I’m really excited to be able to continue to help Bailrigg FM learn about radio and to make contacts in the industry,” Sumner said about her election to the position. “It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m looking forward to helping student radios over the north-west and north Wales – we’ll have days with the BBC, Capital FM and more!”
The I Love Student Radio Awards aim to celebrate the commitment and contributions of individuals to student radio. They are distinct from the Student Radio Awards, which are held in November each year.
This year’s annual SRA conference was held in Newcastle, with attending guest speakers including BBC Radio 1 presenters Scott Mills and Greg James.
The SRA are the representative body which supports and acts on behalf of the UK student radio community. The organisation aims to encourage and facilitate communication between student stations, to assist in their development, and to offer support and advice to new stations just setting up.