Belfast Telegraph

Christian and LGBT radio stations win licences for Belfast

By Cate McCurry

Two radio stations serving the LGBT and Christian communities have been awarded licences to operate in the Belfast area.

BE FM and Juice will be Northern Ireland's first radio stations to serve and focus on Christian and LGBT audiences respectively.

They will join 13 community radio stations already operating in Northern Ireland, which are among more than 250 across the UK.

BE FM is a cross-community and non-denominational Christian radio station for listeners in the greater Belfast area.

Station co-ordinator Neil Curran said: "There's a lot of Christian people in the area and we are going across the denominations and will not be specific to any one denominations.

"It will include everybody. Whether you are Methodist, Presbyterian or Roman Catholic, it will not focus on differences but on the similarities.

"It will have feel-good Christian music and messages.

"We are excited about this as I have been wanting to do this for a couple of years. This is something very new to the radio scene and will include 42 hours of live output per week."

Community radio services are provided on a not-for-profit basis, focusing on the delivery of specific social benefits to a particular area or community of interest.

Juice is a first of its kind radio station for Northern Ireland and will serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the greater Belfast area on FM. It will be able to be heard outside the city through the station's website JuiceBelfast.com.

The station said it will have a target community of up to 33,000 people.

A spokesman said: "LGBT people come from all walks of life and it is our aim to serve as many of our community as possible through an outgoing and inclusive presentation style, mixed with speech content tailored for our audience, and a unique music mix.

"Juice will play a mixture of dance and gay classics, music to stir the heart and move the hips.

"Our speech content will be specifically tailored for the LGBT community, including LGBT news bulletins and a local magazine style show which will showcase and discuss the aspirations, concerns, successes and issues affecting our target audience.

"The station is currently streaming a sample service online through JuiceBelfast.com and has up to two years to get on-air."

A date has yet to be confirmed as to when the stations will go live on air.

Belfast Telegraph

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