Belfast Telegraph

Féile FM: Cash crisis puts Belfast radio station jobs in jeopardy

Staff and volunteers at a West Belfast community radio station could find out today whether or not the service will be shut down, after running out of cash.

Emergency meetings were held at the end of last month, as it became clear the largely volunteer-run Féile FM was falling victim to the recession, with rising costs and falling incomes.

At that stage it was agreed that efforts would be made to find a rescue plan.

However, uncertainty was growing last night as volunteers received e-mails to say management would be releasing an official statement today about the station's future.

One volunteer, who didn't wish to be named, told the Belfast Telegraph that the station could be closing as of 4pm today.

It is not known how many paid roles will be hit by the potential closure.

It is believed voluntary staff had been involved in fundraising efforts to cover the station's bills for this month.

Feile FM was contacted several times yesterday but managers were in meetings and unavailable for comment.

The station, which is run by community festival organisation Feile An Phobail, is described on its website as one of Northern Ireland's "most successful community development participation projects".

It has been broadcasting since 1996, first hitting the airwaves in west Belfast before going online in 2004 and then receiving a full time Community Radio licence from Ofcom in 2005.

Jenny Penrose, acting events manager at the station, said earlier in the month that overheads had become "crippling".

Penrose said: "Like many other organisations it is struggling with reduced public and private funding."

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