West Sussex Digital ltd are a group of individuals, businesses and charities from West Sussex that have come together to apply to operate the digital radio licence for South West Sussex.
Each organisation or individual listed below takes a position on the board and steers the operation of the multiplex away from being another commercial radio cash cow, and towards actively serving the communities it broadcasts to:
Chichester Hospital Radio - Established in 1972, CHR is a charitable organisation staffed entirely from volunteers and providing bedside entertainment to St. Richards Hospital. CHR was recently recognised with a Queen’s Award for voluntary service.
Radio Worthing - Radio Worthing was established in 2011, with the purpose of restoring the town’s unique voice to the airwaves and focusing on local journalism. This Community Interest Company is led by local broadcasters and other Worthing visionaries and is based in Chatsworth Road in the heart of Worthing town centre.
UK DAB Networks - Run by Chichester resident Ash Elford, the company has already brought affordable DAB digital radio transmission to nearby Portsmouth along with Winchester and Basingstoke and now looks forward to providing it’s unrivalled expertise in the company’s home county of West Sussex.
Southdown Media - Parent company of long established local DAB Services 80s Rhythm and Passion Radio. Alongside these commercially-led brand stations, Southdown Media also has a firm focus on support and funding for community initiatives - having operated “Health Information Radio” during the Pandemic, and Christmas Music Radio supporting local charities in Sussex and Hampshire. Southdown Media is headed up by Worthing resident Simon Hardwick.
Steve Freegard - Steve lives in Tangmere and works as an IT Security professional. He’s been a volunteer at Chichester Hospital Radio for over 20 years, enjoying commercial radio experience with Spirit FM where he became one of the main campaigners to keep it from being closed. Since then he has helped to set-up Spirit FM replacement, V2 Radio and can be heard on the station at weekends.
Duncan Barkes - Chichester resident Duncan is a radio professional and former regional managing director and programme controller for the The Local Radio Company which successfully oversaw the running of Chichester-based Spirit FM. He’s also presented local, regional, national and global radio shows on BBC and commercial radio stations as well as being a former West Sussex-wide newspaper columnist.
West Sussex Digital Ltd are confident we have the right team in place to win this licence which will ultimately create more choice for local radio listeners. Our team is 100% local, experienced and passionate with a clear aim to provide a cost-effective radio platform that will give charities, community interest companies and arts organisations access to the local DAB digital airwaves.