REGATTA RADIO has been saved. The pop-up station has raised the £25,000 needed to keep it on the air during this year’s Henley Royal Regatta.
The directors secured a new major sponsor before Monday, which was the deadline they had set themselves to reach their target.
Chairman Peter McConnell said: “At the moment we are looking at this year but we have an agreement in principle with a new major sponsor to extend it for the next few years once this regatta is over.”
The appeal was launched after Invesco Perpetual, the previous major sponsor, withdrew support, saying the station did not meet new funding criteria.
A fundraising dinner at Leander Club two weeks ago was attended by about 100 supporters and raised more than £9,000 while online donations have reached £1,820.
Mr McConnell, who lives in King’s Road, Henley, said: “We were working on a number of things and having the story on the front of the Henley Standard and also on rowing websites helped. The fundraising dinner was the catalyst for others to donate.”
Robert Treharne Jones, head of commentators, said: “The funding is coming from a number of different people for this year.
“It is thanks to a lot of hard work by a number of people that we are now in a position to have an operation in 2014.
“I am now giving my team of commentators the call-up so they can indicate their availability and also getting plans for the technical equipment in place.”
The station will be on air for 10 days, starting with the regatta qualifying races on June 27 and finishing after the prize-giving ceremony on July 6.
Mr McConnell said donations were still being accepted as he wanted to secure the long-term future of the station.
He said: “The goodwill at the dinner made us think that perhaps we should be doing this anyway. We are not expecting our new sponsor to put in every single penny.
“Over the last three years we have cut our budget to the bone. We can’t do it for less money. We need the technology to be able to do it.”
Regatta Radio has been broadcasting since 2006 and has covered every race since 2009. The station broadcasts on 87.7 FM and listeners can pick it up on their radios within a six-mile radius of the course as ell on the internet around the world.
For more information and to make a donation, visit http://igg.me/at/rr2014