Who are you?
Gaydio are the UK’s broadcast radio and training service for the LGB&T community. They're based in Manchester where you can get them on Digital Radio or on 88.4FM. Gaydio see themselves as an exciting, vibrant media company with a passion to improve the lives of their target audience. Having a community radio licence is a unique asset which brings responsibility and opportunity which they work hard to maximise for as many LGB&T people as possible – but in particular focus on those that experience disadvantage.
What do they do and why?
Gaydio broadcast 24 hours a day with a mix of music, speech and content aimed at LGB&T people. They also broadcast in other areas of the UK on DAB Digital Radio, giving them a weekly audience of just over ½ million listener. This means that they are able to sell a range of advertising packages which generate around 2/3 of the income of the business. This is used to fund the radio service and invest in the people that they’ve set up to serve.
The existence of Gaydio provides a huge benefit for not only the audience, but for their volunteers who donate their time to broadcast on the station. For many LGB&T people, Gaydio are a connection and a lifeline to the wider-community. They also work with charities and social enterprises to promote services and help them to reach the people that are most in need.
Alongside their broadcast service they also run the Gaydio Academy – this is a series of short term workshop style programmes that address specific problems that their community face. For example, they currently run the Gaydio Youth academy, providing a unique environment for LGB&T people aged 13-19 where they can come and create radio from their perspective. Gaydio also run the ‘Work Club’ which aims to skill people that are currently unemployed and use their engagement with Gaydio to build confidence and self-esteem, helping them back into work. Each year Gaydio work with up to 200 project beneficiaries – many of which then go on to long term volunteer with them.
“This investment will be a huge step in improving what we do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operation and planning often takes a back seat. None of our income is guaranteed and it’s important that we invest in both the product and revenue stream to maximise our benefit to the community and achievement of our aims” Ian Wallace, Business Director
What funding did they receive and how did it help them?
Gaydio received a package which included part-grant and part loan from GMCVO. They used the grant element to upgrade their equipment, which was more than 10 years old. This has enabled them to ensure that they are fit-for-purpose and have the ability to expand the equipment in the future. The legacy equipment relied on outdated systems, which presented a significant business risk and by updating to the latest Gaydio were also able to re-purpose some of the old infrastructure for training purposes. The bulk of the loan element they wanted to invest to grow their social enterprise funding and they felt the best way to do this was to recruit a brand new position – Head of Sales. This funding allowed this to happen and as a result Gaydio are able to upskill and increase their sales team and increase sales revenue. Gaydio also reserved a small amount of loan funding for future investment to diversify their income streams. In the near future, the broadcast regulator Ofcom will be licensing new services on Digital Radio in cities across the UK and Gaydio are keen to take a leading role in this – not just the broadcast side, but the infrastructure, which means they can create new income.
What impact has the funding had?
So far, the impact has been positive and Gaydio are making the changes necessary to equip them for the future. Importantly, the entire reason they want to generate greater income is so that they can invest it in improving both the quality of service that they offer (radio and training) and so that they can work with more people. Gaydio have a two-year plan for doing this with very firm targets and are on the way to achieving this.
For more information about Gaydio, visit https://www.gaydio.co.uk/