Colne Valley Radio (2009)


The Moonraking Festival is a fabulous winter festival held in Slaithwaite in the Colne Valley. In 2009 they asked us to run a pilot radio station alongside the festival and in the preparation week. They had seen the success of our community radio work in East Leeds and wondered if that kind of thing could happen in the Colne Valley. We wondered too!


We publicised the idea in schools and community groups around Slaithwaite and, with no trouble at all, had a cross-generational group of people training in the local library to run their own broadcast... four days of it in fact including a whole range of programmes, live music, radio drama and lots of lots of Moonraking.


We were invited to run the station by the Moonraking Festival Committee together with local arts organisation Satellite Arts based at the Watershed in Slaithwaite. That connection into a community was absolutely vital for us to make links quickly with local people...

Through those initial links we started the process of forging working partnerships with local schools, community groups, churches...


Funding for the pilot came from the Kirklees Council's Area Committee. Subsequent funding for the project was found through the LEADER fund.

Where Next?

Colne Valley Radio was very successful and everyone agreed that there was real potential to develop this into a long-term project. But... there was another valley! The Holme Valley. Very close to the Colne Valley (indeed their rivers meet in Huddersfield. Similar...but different. And indeed traditionally there was very little communication between the two valleys.

Here was an opportunity. Our understanding of a strong community is one that is strong and cohesive, but faces outwards to the world as well as inwards. If you are in a valley, the first place to look out is over the hill and into the next valley.

So, we started with Colne Valley Radio, but we ended with Two Valleys Radio, which takes us forward into the next phase of Heads Together's development...

Two Valleys Radio mascot