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Community radio station picks up honours at national awards

Canalside Radio, in Bollington, Macclesfield, won best presenter and an award for work with older residents.

Canalside Radio won Gold for Best Male Presenter and a Bronze for Sage Participant of the Year at Community Radio Awards. Pictured are Nick Wright - Station Manager of Canalside Radio alongside Martin Steers - from the Community Radio Awards - and Gold Award Winner for Best Male Presenter - Mark Blackman

A COMMUNITY radio station has picked up two honours in a national awards ceremony.

The team at Canalside Radio are celebrating winning gold for Best Male Presenter and a bronze for the Sage Person of the Year at the second annual Community Radio Awards.

They were up against 350 entries from 70 community radio stations.

Mark Blackman won the gold for 2017 Best Male Presenter. Mark now has a pre-recorded show Kick Up the 80s at the station.

The Sage award goes to radio stations for their work to involve older people in the community. It went to Trish Napier, from Bollington, who is 68 and does the popular reggae show.

Station manager Nick Wright said: “The Sage award recognises our work to give opportunities to older people in our community and we’re really proud of that. We’ve had two presenters in their 90s and it’s fantastic.

“They were national awards so we’re really pleased to have picked up two. We’ve been beavering away here for 15 years and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s getting harder for community radio stations to survive. I think what we do well here is proper training for the people who work here. We’ve had 14 presenters over the years go on to the BBC, TV, commercial radio and other community radio stations.

“Good community radio is about being right at the heart of everything in the community and offering something for everyone, telling people about events and promoting health and wellbeing, and our music covers all genres.”

The station has operated from its canalside location at Clarence Mill in Bollington for 15 years and covers residents across North East Cheshire.

The awards ceremony followed the 2017 Community Media Conference in Bristol. A panel of more than 50 judges drawn from the BBC, commercial radio, community radio and media, and academics selected the best programmes and stations.

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