CalMac support for Arran’s community radio

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At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall,

However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free. To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic.

The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

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One of the organisation to benefit from the CalMac Community Fund is  arransound.com, which has been granted £1,950 to assist with their radio station interviews and recording while observing social distancing, which is likely to be in place for some considerable months to come.

Connectivity to eliminate isolation by inclusivity, fun and education is the aim of arransound.com. By using the airwaves we hope to bring our small island community together, as arransound.com aims to give everyone on the island or anyone who loves Arran, a voice to speak about or for themselves and those they support here at home.

Community radio volunteers are delighted to receive these funds as it will enable them to purchase a Number of HAH 4 recorders which can be used outside. The funds will also allow us to add a long boom pole, monitors and windshields to our microphones making outside reporting of island events possible while remaining safely socially distanced. We are hoping that with the lifting of restrictions our young volunteers will be able to get out and about connecting with the community again and discovering what is happening around the island.


arransound.com has been very busy over the months since broadcasting began and now has a fully scheduled 24-hour programme. If you have not listened in yet, please do and check out what we have to offer. We have a range of musical offerings from Arran folk covering everything from classical to pop, Celtic to choirs and all points in between. Not forgetting our extensive playlist from which listeners are invited to make up their own playlist from for a personalised evening broadcast, or request a particular song for a special person or event. You can follow local authors reading their books and telling you tales, fantastical and otherwise.

Our regular programmes include Spotlight on Arran’ when we feature businesses, charities or community organisations around the island, giving them a voice to explain what and how they are serving their community of Arran. If you are a business or organisation and we have not approached you yet, but you would like to be featured, please get in touch by email or speak to one of the radio group and we will be very happy to visit you.

One such organisation is Arran Wellbeing a new collaborative group who are just beginning their very important programme on the island but who have a long history of service to the particular members of our community they seek to serve on Arran, alongside the wider community. You can hear all about this new project on arransound.com this week and our new outdoor recording equipment will allow us to follow up their programme when we visit their weekly dementia friendly outdoor cafe featuring music, dancing, arts and crafts and so much more.

Every day they devote a special hour to the older members of our community called Montrose House Hour, this time in the afternoon has music requested, stories told and if any relative or friend wishes to send out a message to a resident, we are always delighted to do that also. arransound has a particular commitment to our young people on the island which has been severely disrupted due to Covid-19 restrictions and we are looking forward to the coming months when we can move on. However we have been able to give the island a glimpse into the fantastic work of the Arran Youth Foundation via the very entertaining and educational recorded podcasts that Graeme and the young people made for us.


Chairwoman Mhairi Smeir said: ‘The community grant has given arransound.com a further ability to include and involve all the members of our community in island life, combating isolation and bringing together the people we live alongside, and all the members of arransound.com say a big thank you to CalMac for their generosity.’