Athlone Community Radio was formed in 2006 as a steering group of individuals and people from the community organisations who saw that a community radio – not for profit station would serve the interests of their clients and the general public of Athlone. ACR was granted a temporary Broadcasting Licence on 15th March 2008 and received 10 year Broadcasting Community Radio Sound Licence on the 14th of January, 2011.
We are a not for profit volunteer led radio station. Most of our programme makers are voluntary and they carry out such roles as producers, presenters and researchers. We presently have over 60 volunteers with the station and our Board of Directors are also volunteers from the community.
We have some paid staff; a full time manager and marketing officer and nine people who work part time and all are funded through various government community workplace schemes such as Community Employment, TUS and Jobs Initiative. We also receive some money towards employment from Pobal through a social enterprise initiative, the Community Service Programme. The staffs roles are to support the volunteers, provide training and technical support, manage the station and secure funding through various means such as a small amount of programme sponsorship, advertising, delivering FETAC training specifically relating to media and fundraising.
We work closely with community groups and organisations in the area giving them air time to talk about their work. We also work closely with schools and various training units in the area by providing programming and work experience to their students. While we are a not for profit we have to meet the usual overheads associated with any radio station such as licensing, insurance, audits, equipment costs, rents and the day to day expenses relating to any business/community organisation.