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The voice of the valleys

  • Date: 18 March 2010
  • Area: North
Oli playing the guitar on Two Valleys radio

Oli playing the guitar on Two Valleys radio. Credit: Adrian Sinclair

A thriving online radio station is giving rural communities the opportunity to create their own shows.

Two Valleys Radio is produced by Huddersfield-based Heads Together Productions, an Arts Council England regularly funded organisation. Its programmes are made and presented by volunteers from local communities in the Holme and Colne Valleys and focus on positive news and activities.

All the shows are streamed live via the Internet from studios at the heart of the communities.

The project launched in October 2009 following on from Heads Together Productions successful online community radio station East Leeds FM.

Two Valleys Radio's latest broadcast took place during February half term from the Watershed creative arts mill in Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield, and featured a lively mix of spoken word, drama and music.

Leading up to the broadcast, Heads Together ran a series of open sessions for the volunteers on a range of topics, including using studio equipment, planning, and developing content.

Adrian Sinclair, Artistic Director, Heads Together Productions, said: 'We've been amazed by the response from local people to what is a very new project. Local residents and communities have really taken up the challenge to get involved in making some fantastic radio about their local area. We have been particularly impressed by the young people – they didn't think twice about asking the difficult questions when they had the three prospective parliamentary candidates in the studio!'

Stephanie Simm, Education and Learning Officer, Arts Council England, Yorkshire, said: 'The project has been extremely valuable in developing young people's communication skills, critical thinking, speaking and listening skills and a superb boost to their confidence, to broadcast live to hundreds of listeners.'

The next Two Valleys Radio broadcast will take place from the Hade Edge Brass Band Rooms, 26-28 March.

Two Valleys Radio is also supported through funding from LEADER South Pennines.

Listen to Two Valleys Radio and find out more about how to get involved

Find out more about Heads Together Productions