Radio North Angus is a company limited by guarantee that operates an Independent Local Radio Station on a voluntary basis, in the county of Angus, Scotland. The Service was co-founded by Malcolm Finlayson and Ian Clark, who had previously been involved in broadcasting from 1969, and had operated a radio station from 1973.
Radio North Angus, (RNA), commenced broadcasting by closed circuit transmissions at Stracathro Hospital, by Brechin, on 9 January 1979, with a two tier music based format, whereby specialist music was broadcast daily between 1830 and 1930 hours, followed by requests between 1930 and 2200 hours. The success of the Station created a demand for similar services in other Angus hospitals, but distances between these centres and Stracathro made the concept of landline rental prohibitive. Consequently, it was decided to establish a system of stand alone Stations, and the Arbroath Infirmary and Forfar Infirmary Radio Stations commenced broadcasting on 28 October 1980 and 3 June 1985 respectively. The smaller Angus hospitals were catered for by means of out-housed mobile control desks at Whitehills Hospital, Forfar, Brechin and Montrose Infirmaries, and Little Cairnie Hospital, Arbroath being utilised on a fortnightly basis in wards and day areas.
RNA goes FM
During 1995, Radio Lonsdale, the Barrow-in-Furness Hospital Broadcasting Service, was commissioned by the Radio Authority to conduct experimental F.M. transmissions, with a view to a wavelength being allocated for hospital broadcasting use, which would vastly improve reception by recipients who were hitherto restricted to hospital internal broadcasting closed circuit systems. The pilot broadcasts were successful, and RNA subsequently acquired licences for the Arbroath and Stracathro Radio Stations, commencing broadcasting in Spring 1996 on 87.7 FM, with an output power of 50 milliwatts, becoming the second British and first Scottish Hospital Broadcasting Service to use freely radiating radio transmissions. Although being designed specifically for hospitals, the broadcasts were audible on domestic receivers for two miles, which created a demand from the population of Arbroath for a local radio service.
A statement of intent was lodged with the Radio Authority for the provision of a Service for an area of Angus, and, having undergone a competitive process, RNA became the first Hospital Broadcasting Service to be allocated an Independent Local Radio licence. The remit is for a wide ranging music based Service to promote health, welfare, voluntary organisations, educational establishments, and the local economy. RNA FM, commenced transmissions from Arbroath Infirmary on 96.6FM on 28 November 1998 with a power output of 25 watts. The Station quickly became established as the Local Radio for the Area, with many favourable comments received, and a cost-free service being provided to the NHS, Angus Council, Angus College, Emergency Services, local schools and numerous voluntary organisations, which utilised the opportunity to disseminate information.
In late 1999, the Radio Authority gave approval to an increase in output power, and on 8 February 2000, the level was increased to 200 watts, facilitating transmissions being receivable over a wide area of the County. RNA. continues to operate on entirely a voluntary basis, the aim being to provide a high quality, localised radio service for the benefit of the population, with the slogan “Music and care on air across Angus”.