A Hackney independent radio station is under threat of closing down due to rising rent, bills and studio management costs.
The station team at Reel Rebels Radio have begun a crowdfunding campaign to save the much-loved station. The campaign hopes to meet a £15,000 target by December 22, which will help them to become “self-sufficient”.
Station manager Alicia Graham said: “I think that people view us as not just a radio station, but somewhere they can go and be a part of community discussions and inter-generational discussions, as somewhere that all ages can go to learn music, where they can get involved with events.”
The station was originally set up six years ago to offer locals and the extended community an alternative to mainstream music and local news broadcasting. It has united the Stoke Newington community by organising various social projects. The team annually runs a community feast, which offers free food to a local crowd of 200 people. They also arrange sessions for people with learning disabilities.
With the government’s new revaluation of business rates, businesses’ in Hackney will be some of the worst affected in London in terms of affordability versus the rising rent.
Graham told ELL: “Everyone running a business or community organisation in Hackney is affected by huge rents and business rates.
“Self-sufficient to us means to be in the receipt of grants for funding, making income from our rehearsal rooms and not having to do whip-rounds or getting into debt in order to pay the rent,” she added.
Graham believes that the community wants Reel Rebels to continue their work. A local club night, Mind the Gap, raised £225 for the campaign on December 3.
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