Student Radio Association members 107 Spark FM win prestigious Radio Academy award.

A radio station that has been on the air for just over a year has been named the best in the North East by the Radio Academy. 107 Spark FM is the North East’s only radio station aimed at young people. The station is based at the University and run by student DJs and local volunteers, some as young as 16. 107 Spark FM won the Radio Academy Nations and Regions Awards 2010, which recognises outstanding stations with a potential audience under 300,000. Judges at the awards said: “107 Spark FM is a diverse radio station run by volunteers with lots of specialist music programmes. For a community station the standards were high, with lots of passion for local debate and music. It is ambitious, creative and local.”

This is the second major award for Spark in less than a year, in only the station’s second year of broadcast. In May 2010 the station won the national Community Spirit Award, awarded by the Student Radio Association, in recognition of their efforts to engage with the local community.

Fred Marden, University of Sunderland Head of Radio, said: “’We’re thrilled. 107 Spark FM has made such a huge splash in just its first year on air, but to win the prestigious Radio Academy Nations and Regions award for the North East is an outstanding achievement. We’ll continue with a North East first agenda, and underline our commitment as a station exclusively for Sunderland.”

107 Spark FM launched in September 2009. It is the only radio station in the North East focusing specifically on issues affecting young people. The station broadcast 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from the university’s campus on the banks of the River Wear.

The Student Radio Association is extremely proud of Spark FM’s achievements, having already recognised the achievements of the station by awarding them the I Love Student Radio Community Spirit Award at the National Student Radio Conference in Nottingham. Congratulations to all at 107 Spark FM; we are extremely pleased that they have been recognised for their hard work and passion for radio.