COWLING based Drystone Radio is celebrating after being awarded a five-year extension to its FM broadcasting licence.

The not-for-profit community radio station, which this month marks its 25th anniversary, covers Craven, Ilkley, Wharfedale and Bradford. November will also see it expanding into East Lancashire on digital radio DAB Plus.

The station was founded in 1998 as a registered charity to promote 'active community involvement in regeneration and social inclusion, and to enhance diversity and inclusion across the Yorkshire Dales' and has steadily grown ever since.

It joins forces with charities such as The Principle Trust by hosting fundraising quizzes, and The Rotary Club of Skipton Craven for its Great Santa Fun Run, and broadcasts from events such as the Skipton Car Show.

The station is operated by a team of more than 40 volunteers, ranging in ages between 36 and 75 yeas old, offering training and opportunities to people across the region.

It has helped hundreds of people launch careers in broadcasting since it first opened its doors.

The station's specialist presenter for Drystone’s ‘Backseat Driver’ Sunday morning show, Mark Stone, has been shortlisted for a Community Radio Award 2023 for an outside broadcast he presented from the Skipton Car Show, held in June.

Since January, nine new volunteers have been trained, six young people have completed work experience placements and eight existing volunteers have completed additional training to advance their radio producing skills.

Andy Rankine, director and station controller, a former mayor of Skipton, said Drystone was at its heart a community radio station.

“Our primary focus at Drystone is to give back to the community and provide opportunities for development. Whether that be through supporting a wide range of charities, offering work placements to local college students or providing ongoing training and development opportunities to our existing volunteers, at its heart Drystone is a community station made for the community, from the community.

“Our charity partnerships are truly at the core of what we do, as a charity ourselves we understand the struggles and intricacies of fundraising.

"All charities that we support gain income that would not otherwise receive and can access advertising opportunities across our channels. "Our team is always excited to come up with new and creative ways to support our charity partners and give back to the communities, for example we have done drive-in movies and point to point horseracing."

In 2021 Andy Rankine was a runner-up in the volunteer of the year category at the National Community Radio awards.

To find out more and tune into Drystone Radio, visit: