New radio station to launch in north Norfolk

At the new Poppyland radio studio are: back row, Adam Wood, Paul Hensby, front, Mike Goldwater, Will Wilson.

At the new Poppyland radio studio are: back row, Adam Wood, Paul Hensby, front, Mike Goldwater, Will Wilson. - Credit: Amanda Hensby

The radio waves have started humming with the music and friendly voices of a new station based in north Norfolk. 

Poppyland Community Radio is planning its official launch on February 19, covering an area spanning Cromer to Bacton, and inland as far as Roughton and Trunch.

Paul Hensby, the new station's director, said Poppyland aimed to be more just a form of entertainment.

Mr Hensby said: "Our mission for the radio station is to increase a feeling of local belonging, enhance a sense of community and combat loneliness, which is often a problem in isolated, rural or coastal communities.

“Our target audience is local, but our values of caring and kindness are universal. We can be listened to anywhere from our website.”

A schedule of locally-produced programmes began broadcasting in January. The line-up includes music shows, talk shows, local history, comedy, cookery, quizzes and live events.

The idea for a north Norfolk local community radio station came to Will Wilson and his wife Kate, during the first coronavirus lockdown.

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They started broadcasting from their kitchen table to neighbours in Northrepps.

Mr Wilson, who is now the station manager, said: “We discussed making it a ‘proper’ community station, and were amazed by the enthusiastic response.

“So far we’ve trained more than 25 presenters to deliver exclusive shows every week - the station is already broadcasting 24/7.

"The shows feature local stories told by local voices, capturing the sounds of life in Poppyland today, as well as hearing stories of our rich past through our residents and local experts.”

The radio station is based at the Belfry Centre for Music and Arts in Cromer Road, Overstrand, which provided a room, and that has already been converted into a radio studio.

The station is also receiving funding from a trust which supports its goal to improve the quality of life of isolated and disadvantaged residents.

Local residents, businesses and community leaders are invited to the launch event, which starts at 1pm, with a ribbon cutting at 2pm. There will be an open studio, live music, refreshments, talks and opportunities to get involved.

Anyone wishing to go along can email