Chorley FM made famous by Peter Kay faces closure

Under threat: Presenters Allan Scott and Barbara Lowe are concerned that Chorley FM could shut in three months' time
Under threat: Presenters Allan Scott and Barbara Lowe are concerned that Chorley FM could shut in three months' time

Its name is known around the world thanks to comedian Peter Kay, but the real-life Chorley FM faces closure.

Chorley FM was the fictional station dreamt up by the creators of Phoenix Nights, whose innuendo-filled catchphrases included ‘Coming in your ears’.

However, the real Chorley FM, which is broadcast to a potential audience of 150,000 people, is in danger of being shut down after a funding crisis.

Co-founder Allan Scott said: “Peter Kay and his shows have helped to make our name famous, but it is no joke that we are in trouble.

“We tell our presenters not to mention Peter Kay because sometimes businesses don’t take us seriously, because they think it does not exist.”

The station originated back in in 2001, but started broadcasting in 2006 when it got a licence from regulator OFCOM, and since then it has been the voice of local community groups and organisations.

Bosses at the station, which broadcasts on 102.8fm, say they need more than £12,000 a year to stay afloat.

Declining advertising revenue, failing grants and the costs of their premises on Railway Road, are among the reasons for their problems and officials say they only have enough money to survive until March.

Mr Scott is setting up a campaign to save the station, as they may be forced to turn off the microphones before its 10th birthday.

He said: “We have 80 volunteers.

“The only way we get money is through advertising and that has dried up because everyone is suffering at the moment.

“Chorley FM is a professional station, and we get an agency to produce the adverts for us.

“However, we have been struggling to get money from some of the advertisers, but we still have to pay the bills.

“We need £1,000 per month to pay for our licence, bills and rent.

“The station plays a vital role for the local community, by allowing them to talk about any events they have coming up.

“We are hoping that local businesses give us some station sponsorship, or even if we can find a vacant shop or base on peppercorn rent then it will keep our costs down.”

The station which runs 24-hours a day, seven days a week, has international appeal, with listeners catching up on news in Chorley with broadcasts on the internet.

“I was doing an afternoon show on Christmas Day, when we got a call from Australia wishing their family a Happy Christmas in Coppull.

“It was amazing to think that more people listen to us around the world, but if we turn off the transmitter then there will be no more stations in the community.”

One of the presenters, Barbara Lowe said: “It would be devastating for the community if the radio station shuts down, because we train budding presenters and many groups need it to be their voice to tell people about events.

“When I have been away on holiday, there are two things that people know the town for – Chorley cakes and Chorley FM.”

If anyone can help the station they should contact Allan on 07970155598 or email info@chorley.fm.