Bailrigg FM

Bailrigg FM (formerly known as University Radio Bailrigg (URB) and Radio Bailrigg) is a student radio station at Lancaster University. It operates in a music format predominantly featuring pop, but also broadcasts news, drama, comedy, and entertainment. During evening and weekend hours, programming moves to specialist content where presenters are free (within reason) to play whatever they wish.

Bailrigg FM
Bailrigg 87.7 FM Logo 2020.png
CityBailrigg, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Frequency24/7 on 87.7 FM
SloganThe Original Student Sound
FormatStudent Radio
OwnerLancaster University Students' Union
LA1:TV (Television)
WebcastLive Stream

Bailrigg is one of the oldest student radio stations in the country,[1] as well as being the first student station to broadcast on FM.[1] It airs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. Bailrigg first broadcast on FM as part of a one-month, 25W Restricted Services Licence in March 1994 under the directorship of Paul Dale.[2] It had previously applied for a licence in September 1993 but was turned down by the Radio Authority due to the launch of The Bay in March of that year.[citation needed]

It originally broadcast to the university on 312m Medium Wave using an inductive loop aerial system around the various halls of residence. Now listeners can tune in on campus on 87.7 MHz, or listen anywhere in the world using the station's live webstream. Bailrigg holds several large events throughout the year, including a seven-day Freshers' Week outside broadcast and coverage of the Lancaster University Students' Union (LUSU) sabbatical elections. During the Roses Tournament the station joins with University Radio York (URY) to provide programming across both campuses.

The station has received several national Student Radio Awards over the years, including Best Website,[3] Best Station Sound[4] and more recently Best Technical Achievement.[5]

It was announced in April 2019 that LUSU would stop funding the license required to broadcast FM frequencies, and as such the station would only be available online from August onwards.[6] After protest over the decision however, funding was given in August for the license to be renewed.


  • 1968 – Students at York University get permission to test-transmit programmes on Medium Wave, inspiring Lancaster to follow suit.
  • 1969 - After problems with an over-eager student starting his own pirate radio station, permission is finally given to proceed with the project.
  • 1971 - The initial aerial and studio equipment is installed.
  • 1972 - URB is forced off air by the government for transmitting without a full licence.
  • 1973 - A new antenna system is installed and URB gains a full licence from the government.
  • 1974 - Twin studios are built in Fylde College.
  • 1994 - First four-week 25W licence to broadcast on 87.7 MHz (under the name Bailrigg FM) is received. The broadcasts covered the City of Lancaster (including Morecambe).[7][8] Reception was reported as far afield as Preston, Blackpool and Barrow-in-Furness.
  • 1995 - A second four-week FM licence is received, again on 87.7 MHz.[7][8]
  • 1996 - URB gains a licence to broadcast all year round on the FM band, although on a smaller power output to cover the campus only. The station name is changed permanently to Bailrigg FM.[1][7][8][9]
  • 2004 - Bailrigg FM is awarded an extended licence to transmit across Lancaster and Morecambe for a week as part of the university's 40th anniversary celebrations.
  • 2006 - Bailrigg FM moves to new studios in Furness College
  • 2012 - Bailrigg FM is awarded £8,500 in funding from the University's Alumni Fund in order to purchase outside broadcast equipment.[10]
  • 2013 - Bailrigg FM is awarded £65,000 in Capex funds from LUSU in order to renovate their studios. This will keep Bailrigg FM on air for at least another 5 years.
  • 2019 - LUSU announced it would strip Bailrigg FM of funding for its license.[11] Due to widespread disapproval this decision was ultimately reversed.[12]


Student Radio AwardsEdit

The following are Student Radio Awards presented by the Student Radio Association

Year Award Content Nominee Result
1996 Best Student Radio Station[citation needed] Bailrigg FM Nominated
2002 Best Student Radio Station[13]
2003 Best Website Award[3] Peter Price Gold
2004 Best Station Sound[4] Bailrigg FM
2005 Specialist Music Programming[14] 'The Rachel Neilman Experience' Rachel Neilman Nominated
2006 Best Journalistic Programming[15] 'Newsbite' Victoria Kirby Silver
Best Comedy & Drama Programming[16] 'Project ComCom' Bailrigg FM Nominated
2007 Best Male Presenter[17] Kenny Donohue Gold
Best Journalistic Programming[18] ‘Travellers on campus’ Bailrigg FM News Team Nominated
2008 Best Outside Broadcast[19] 'Roses' Bailrigg FM Bronze
2012 Best Technical Achievement[5] 'Bailrigg FM Field Switchboard' Gold

I Love Student Radio AwardsEdit

The following are I Love Student Radio Awards presented at the annual SRACon by the Student Radio Association.

Year Award Nominee Result Ref.
2014 Best Audience Initiative Bailrigg FM Highly Commended [20]
Most Improved Station Won
Outstanding Contribution to Student Radio Stephen Robinson Won
2018 Sam Possible Nominated [21]
Hero Of The Moment Tom Pearson Highly Commended [22]

Lancaster University Students' Union Student Media AwardsEdit

The following are Student Media Awards presented by Lancaster University Students' Union.

Year Award Content Nominee(s) Result
2019[23][24] Best Entertainment/Lifestyle Content 'Monday Bailrigg Show' Adam Bragan, Jonny Bentley Nominated
'The Summerfeld Chronicles' Jordan Summerfield Won
Best Design Nominated
Best Marketing Nominated
'Wednesday Bailrigg Show Promotional Video' Pascal Maguet, Alex George Won
Best News/Politics Content 'Snowballing Out of Control?' Kyle McKenzie Won
Best Interview 'Rethink Valentine's' Max Ell Won
Best Innovation 'Rethink' Max Ell, Luke Mader, Nick Hoffman Won
'LUCI 24 hour takeover' Lancaster University Comedy Institue Nominated
Best Live Coverage 'Lancaster City FC Coverage' Jonny Bentley Nominated
Best Sports Content 'Bailrigg Football Show' Nominated
'Kick Out @ 2' Kyle McKenzie, Kamran Khan Nominated
2020[25][26] Kamran Khan Nominated
Best Lockdown Content 'Afternoon T' Tom Grayston Won
Best Cultural Content 'K-Bops' Quin Pitcher Nominated
Best Entertainment/Lifestyle Content 'Choose Life' Sophie Edwards, Finn Bracegirdle Nominated
Best News/Politics Content 'Newsday Tuesday' Dan Woodburn Nominated
Best Live Coverage 'Union Elections' Bailrigg FM Nominated
'General Election Coverage' Bailrigg FM & SCAN Won
Best Innovation 'Off Script Podcast' Oliver Crisp Nominated
Best Marketing & Design 'BFM Branding, Logos & Show Banners' Angus Warrender Nominated

Notable alumniEdit

George "The Rock" Sanderson


  1. ^ a b c Although a contentious and hard to verify claim, this student society has long claimed it was the first of the UK student stations permitted a licence to actually start broadcasting. The claim of "first permanent FM student station" is a matter of interpretation. Radio Station Management reported back to society members during the negotiations that the Radio Authority believed the station to be the first to have a permanent FM licence. Oxford University later made the same claim. However, Bailrigg FM was from 1996 onwards limited to the campus of Lancaster University and broadcast initially only during term-time, whereas the colleges of Oxford University are spread across the city of Oxford, which made it the first permanent FM radio station run by students and available to the general public (and a rival to local independent radio for advertising revenue). Potentially the only way to verify any of the claims would be to access the archive of the Radio Authority (which is now a part of Ofcom).
  2. ^ "Paul Dale is ITV CTO". as a founder and director of community radio station Bailrigg FM
  3. ^ a b "BBC Radio 1 presents Student Radio Awards 2003". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Bailrigg Triumph at Student Radio Awards". Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b Winners announced for Student Radio Awards -
  6. ^ Moffitt, Dominic (12 April 2018). ""It feels insulting": Lancaster University SU radio boss speaks after Bailrigg loses FM licence". LancsLive. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Details would appear in the minutes of the weekly society meetings, which should be in the archives of Lancaster University Student Union.
  8. ^ a b c Details of each FM launch were reported in the Lancaster University Student Newspaper "Scan", and should be available in their archives within Lancaster University Student Union.
  9. ^ The preparations and launch of the permanent FM station in 1996 were captured in a video documentary entitled "Listening To Images" which was created by undergraduate students as a module towards a degree. This is available to watch via Bailrigg FM's Youtube channel -
  10. ^ Bailrigg FM awarded grant for outside broadcast equipment - Archived 2013-12-16 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Hardman, Matthew (15 April 2019). "Bailrigg FM to lose broadcast licence in Lancaster". Radio Today. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Bailrigg FM To Continue Broadcasting On The Airwaves". Lancaster University Students' Union. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Student Radio Awards 2002". 8 February 2003. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Student Radio Awards - 2005 - Nominations". 27 November 2005. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  15. ^ "The Student Radio Awards - 2006 - Winners". 18 December 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  16. ^ "The Student Radio Awards - 2006 - Nominations". 18 December 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Student Radio Awards 2007 - Winners". 19 December 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  18. ^ "The Student Radio Awards - 2007". 3 November 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Student Radio Awards 2008". 27 March 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Winners for I Love Student Radio Awards". RadioToday. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  21. ^ "The nominations for the I Love Student Radio Awards 2018 supported by Communicorp UK". Student Radio Association. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  22. ^ "The I Love Student Radio Awards 2018 WINNERS". Student Radio Association. 5 April 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Student Media Awards 2019". 14 June 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  24. ^ "Lancaster University Students' Union". Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  25. ^ "Student Media Awards 2020 Shortlist". 3 June 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  26. ^ "Student Media Awards 2020 Winners". 23 June 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  27. ^ a b c d e "Remember When". Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  28. ^ "Paul Dale is ITV CTO". Broadband TV News. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  29. ^ "A conversation with Louis Barfe". Retrieved 21 January 2021.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 54°00′33″N 2°47′06″W / 54.009064°N 2.784949°W / 54.009064; -2.784949