SWINDON'S community radio station officially launched at the weekend.

It was decided to go live on Saturday as it was 39 years to the day since Town beat Arsenal to win the League Cup.

Station presenter and founder Shirley Ludford, who has worked tirelessly to ensure the project got off the ground, said: "It's quite overawing to get to this stage.

"We've been on an amazing journey and it has been a unique experience.

"It's an opportunity for so many to gain skills in radio. It involves everyone in the town which is the brilliant thing.

"I believe the future for community radio is bright."

Swindon mayor Michael Barnes, who was at the launch, said: "This is an opportunity to get involved in a non-commercial radio station.

"I hope it will be well supported, used and enjoyed.

"It really does bring the town together."

The 105.5fm station will broadcast daily programmes from Swindon Town's studios and include local musicians and play a wide range of music styles.

There will also be debate and discussion from numerous presenters and there will be an opportunity for local schools to be part of the experience.

It will offer training courses for individual, group or organisations.

The station is staffed mostly by volunteers and will rely on fundraising events, donations, grants and sponsorship to keep going.

Among the funding the station has received is a £1,000 Grass Roots grant from Swindon Council towards a music play-out system for volunteer presenters to use in programmes.

A service for visually impaired people has signed up to a show on the new station.

Swindon's Talking Newspaper will be airing a programme to be heard on Swindon 105.5.

Its weekly feature show will hit the airwaves every Wednesday at 4.30pm.

The station will also get down and dirty with music for clubbers every Friday night.

The Friday Night Mix Project, run by Kris Deering from the INM8 show, alongside Sophie Hart,will cover different genres each month and invite guest DJs and promoters on to the weekend warm-up slot.

For more information about Swindon 105.5 call 01793 612517, or email swindon105.5@talktalk.net.

Also visit the website at www.communityradioswindon.com.