New local digital radio station hopes for ‘giant’ success


Radio listeners in Ilkley are about to get a new station to tune in to, with the launch next month of Rombalds Radio.

The digital station is promising to cover local news and events in the town as well as Skipton, Keighley and other surrounding towns and villages.

It’s been founded by local radio professionals Nick Babb and Stuart Clarkson. Nick, from Ilkley, is a former presenter on stations including Radio Aire, Magic 828, Stray FM and Fresh Radio, where he was in charge of programmes and music. Silsden resident Stuart has been a presenter and journalist on stations including Yorkshire Dales Radio, Fresh, Stray, Real Radio, Smooth and BBC Radio 5 Live.

The pair also already run hyperlocal news sites for their hometowns - Nick founded the hugely successful Ilkley Chat in 2013, while Stuart launched SilsdenToday earlier this year.

Rombalds Radio takes its name from Rombalds Moor which runs right through the area, and will be available online at rombaldsradio.com, via a free smartphone app and on smart speakers. It hopes to also broadcast on DAB digital radio when a new multiplex for the area is licensed in the next couple of years.

The station will have a number of ‘giant’ themed features, in a nod to Rombald the Giant who is said to have lived in the Neolithic Age and ‘created’ features such as Ilkley’s Cow and Calf by splitting rocks as he leapt across the valley.

Nick Babb said: “With more than half of radio listening now being via digital platforms it’s the right time to launch Rombalds Radio, which will be proudly local at a time when other stations are becoming more national. We’ve created a unique station that will benefit local community groups, businesses and residents - and will play great music too.”

Stuart Clarkson added: "Between us, Nick and I have not only got backgrounds in broadcasting and audio production but also PR, marketing, web development, business and events experience - so we hope we can offer a great service to local businesses, residents and community groups through our radio station, app and website."

Rombalds Radio will launch on August 10th at 8am, find out more about the station and the team behind it at rombaldsradio.com or download the free smartphone app for Apple and Android devices from your phone’s App Store.

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