The Virgin Gorda community will once again have access to its own on-island radio station as VGROC Radio on 88.5 FM is set to make a return this year.
Ninth District Representative Vincent Wheatly made the announcement at a recent community meeting on the sister island.
“VGROC is back,” Wheatley said. It landed on Saturday. It’s cleared and it’s on island. We are going through the permissions now to where we would start transmitting.”
Virgin Gorda resident and Territorial At-Large Representative Shereen Flax-Charles — who is also a former member of the radio station’s operational team — told BVI News that familiar faces will be running the daily operations of the non-profit local station.
“We had a group of four or five persons that were intimately involved in the radio station when we had the temporary station after the storms. Those persons will be involved with the entire management and running of the station and putting together the programme and so on,” she said.
Plans in place for station
Flax-Charles told residents that the radio station also has plans for diversified programming upon its return.
She said: “We plan to have extensive programming from religious, to cultural — everything across the board. And we’ve already had persons that are interested in having a radio show.”
“We will use ads. But since it’s non-profit, those funds that are collected will go towards the administration of the station and the management of the station, and any additional will go towards our recovery and help in the community in the event that there is a storm or issue in the community and we need the funds to assist,” Flax-Charles added.
Residents anticipating return
The Junior Minister said locals have been anticipating the return of the station since it went off-air in January 2018.
She said residents have found it difficult to tune in to other local radio stations because of poor signal reception.
“I think of the challenges with the other stations in the BVI, a lot of them were down and what is back up is either internet or it is not coming through clearly on Virgin Gorda, and this station will be able to be heard on Anegada as well,” she stated.
“Every day somebody asks a question – sometimes two to five persons – when is the radio station coming back? It built a lot of community spirit and it created a sense in the community of family, and so persons felt comfortable and really enjoyed it,” she further said.
VGROC born from disaster
Following hurricanes Irma and Maria which ravaged the territory back in 2017, VGROC radio station was created through efforts by the Virgin Gorda Recovery Organisation which was previously chaired by Wheatley before he became a legislator.
It was initially used to disseminate emergency messages to residents across Virgin Gorda, but after a few months of operation, the station announced that it was going be off-air as they were working towards a more permanent frequency and location for the station.
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