New radio station launches for the Aire and Wharfe Valleys


The new digital local radio station for Ilkley, Skipton and Keighley - Rombalds Radio - launches on Monday morning at 8am.


It’s been set up by Ilkley Chat founder Nick Babb and SilsdenToday’s Stuart Clarkson, both experienced broadcasters and radio programmers who have worked at a number of commercial and BBC radio stations over the last 25 years.


The launch of the new service comes as local radio across the UK is about to undergo major changes, with dozens of small radio stations all set to re-brand as ‘Greatest Hits Radio’ from 1st September and lose their local identities. Among those changing are Harrogate-based Stray FM and Bradford station Pulse 2, which both cover this area.


Rombalds Radio - named after Rombalds Moor and its folklore giant - is promising to play ‘great music’ from across the last six decades and will be packed with local news and information, including free promotion for charities and community groups in the area.


It is also working with businesses across Ilkley, Keighley and Skipton to offer a new marketing opportunity to reach new and existing customers in a cost-effective way.


Nick Babb says: “The response in the last few weeks has been amazing - everyone we speak to is very excited about the new radio station and we can’t wait to get started with our plan to bring back local radio to this area.”


Stuart Clarkson added: “We’ve put together what we hope is a great sounding professional radio station, with warm and friendly presenters who know and love the area.


Stuart will host the breakfast show each weekday morning. He’s followed at 10am by Nick Bewes, who spent 7 years on air with Skipton’s Fresh Radio. Former Stray FM presenter Alex Cann is on air every lunchtime, while Nick Babb takes over for Rombalds Radio Drive at 3pm. Elisa Hilton - who has worked on stations including The Pulse, Real Radio Yorkshire and Asda FM - completes the weekday line-up presenting the evening show.


The weekend schedule includes another former Fresh Radio stalwart, Jeremy Gartland, who broadcast to the area from Skipton between 2000 and 2012 including as host of the popular ‘Saturday Superquiz’.


Local businesses supporting the station from launch with advertising or sponsorships include Ilkley School of Motoring, Home Instead Senior Care, Martinez Wines, Vets4Pets Keighley, Tax Assist Accountants, Wood Decor Ltd and a brand new local electric vehicle charging company, We Power Your Car.


Rombalds Radio is available via a free app, on Amazon and Google smart speakers and also at rombaldsradio.com

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