Vectis Radio was launched by Ian Mac as an Internet only radio station on January 23rd 2010 starting life at the Quay Arts Centre. The surroundings back then can only be described as small, in fact it was pretty much a broom cupboard. Unfortunately, after six months, Quay Arts wanted it’s broom cupboard back, so Vectis Radio was on the move, in fact, we move twice more that year, first to Newport Football Club, then to Crocker Street, but never quite finding a permanent base. We thought we’d found our home in the Spring of 2011 when we moved to a derelict building in West Street, opposite Jewson. This proved to be a more sustainable base for us and we made it our own for two years. Seemingly all was going well, until in June 2013, when we were given seven days to vacate the premises as it was deemed unsafe. With everything up in the air and nowhere to lay our hat, the station was introduced to the team at The Riverside Centre. Thankfully they agreed to let us broadcast from there… in the shed. Which we did!!
Moving more times than The Littlest Hobo from a cupboard to a derelict building and then a shed, it didn’t dampen the team spirit and we never once felt like giving up! After months of broadcasting and proving our worth to The Riverside Centre, they eventually agreed that that we could move from outside in the shed, to inside… in the gym. But it wasn’t all squat thrusts and star jumps, once cleared, the station had something to be really proud of, as in a previous life, the gym had originally been a studio for ‘Platform One’ some twenty years prior. It was a perfect fit!
We moved into our current studio in August 2014, and have since made it our home. We were finally in a stable location and able make real strides, which we promptly did by establishing the 4P’s training school (otherwise known as ‘The 4P’s Project’) which runs as part of the Isle of Wight Council’s ‘Youth Offer’. Over 100 students have since completed the course which has been successful in helping many young people improve their confidence and communication through teaching the four key areas of radio; presenting, production, promotion and podcasting. The course is available free of charge to 11-19 year olds, and also up to 25 for people with additional needs.
Since 2010, we’ve grown from strength to strength and due to the support of our listeners and sponsors we have always been determined that the station should continue to broadcast. In October 2015 we applied for an FM community license and after months of waiting, fingers firmly crossed, the license was finally granted in June 2016. Our next big step was to raise funds, and thanks to the generosity and dedication of the the our supporters, Vectis Radio were able to raise the necessary funds to make our FM dream a reality. On November 4th 2017, Vectis Radio went live on FM104.6.
There have been many highs along the way. We once boasted the youngest ever sports presenter in the UK. George Steed was aged just 14 at the time. Perhaps our biggest achievement is the 4P’s training school, which is helping young people with and without additional needs grow in confidence and giving them opportunities to broadcast. The list of achievements continues, however with the highs come the lows and it’s those lows that have made us extra determined to make the station a success.
After many years of sleepless nights, hard slog, moving studio six times, very rarely going off the air and sheer bloody mindedness, Vectis Radio has arrived!!