A brief history of shmuFM

shmuFM first started in 2003 when a  pilot  radio project was developed that created four magazine shows broadcast citywide on MEfm (Multi Ethnic radio). Following the success of this pilot, young people were supported in broadcasting five shows for Festival FM (Aberdeen International Youth Festival radio) later that year. shmu also contributed programming to MEfm and Festival FM in 2004. 

These pilots underlined an interest in community radio in our target areas. Participants expressed a desire for more consistent engagement with radio, including the possibility of developing their own community radio station. The evaluation clearly demonstrated a demand for radio to become part of the core work of shmu in the future.

A radio working group made up of local volunteers was formed to support the development of a community station and this group submitted a successful application to Ofcom for a 5-year FM community radio license in 2005. This license entitled the organisation to broadcast on the FM frequency over a 10km area, 24 hours a day for five years. As a pilot working towards the full-time FM license, the station broadcasted live on-line programming up to 5 days a week, with the schedule growing on a weekly basis.   Resources were secured to support the project to move into full FM frequency broadcasting by the summer of 2007.

A space was found to house a radio studio, in the heart of the regeneration area of Woodside, and resources secured from the Scottish Executive to procure equipment. The studio was fully operational by July 2005, using the Internet as a broadcasting platform and offering a range of entry points for participation. Individuals and groups were supported to get involved in the process of induction, production, development and presentation of programmes, and to contribute their views and opinions on local issues.

In 2007 shmuFM won a license from Ofcom to broadcast for five years on the full FM frequency of 99.8fm.  This allowed the station to increase its output, engage with more members of the community and provide a more comprehensive training and broadcasting service.

In 2012, shmuFM was awarded its second five year FM frequency broadcasting license from Ofcom which means that 24 hour FM broadcasting will continue until 2017.

Over the years many hundreds of people, young, old and just about every age group in between has been through the doors of shmu to take part in training, producing and presenting shows.   shmuFM forms an important part of the shmu work scope  and has given a voice to many members of our communities that have previously been underrepresented in the press.

In addition, community radio is viewed as a tool for community development and capacity building. The emphasis lies on improving society rather than developing a commercial focus.

Research has shown that Community Radio enriches the area it serves by:

  • Providing opportunities in training and work experience
  • Contributing to community learning objectives
  • Supporting services dedicated to tackling social exclusion
  • Providing a voice to those with limited access to the media