THE people of Poole look set to get their own dedicated community radio station.

The Bay would be the area's first not-for-profit station if it hits the airwaves next spring, covering all things Poole, from local bands, to hot community issues.

The team behind it has submitted an application to Ofcom for a five-year FM licence.

Alan Coote, of Ferndown, a former presenter and producer on BBC local radio, is leading the bid. He said the station would have a broad-based appeal and cover issues of real interest to the town's residents.

He said: "We will be giving the people of Poole something they can call their own."

If the application is successful, the antenna will be placed on top of the Ryvita Mill, Old Wareham Road, allowing the broadcasts to reach all of Poole, and some of Bournemouth.

The majority of the schedule will be music, but the daytime line-up will include features, phone-ins, studio debates and interviews, covering everything from health and family life, to finance and education.

Representatives of community groups and charities will be invited in to speak, and there are also plans for on-air surgeries with Poole politicians.

Evenings will be given over to specialist music shows to suit all tastes from jazz to punk, and local bands will be given the chance get their music heard.

On Saturday mornings, a children's show will give under-15s a chance to take over.

If it's given the go-ahead, The Bay will be staffed by both professionals and volunteers, and the team plans to offer work experience to students and young people. It would also provide training courses in broadcasting and media.

Mr Coote added: "Our primary remit is to be of benefit to the community. Everyone will find something of interest to them."

The station is expected to cost £250,000 a year to run, some of which will come from advertising. Mr Coote said it would rely on the support of the community to keep going.

"What we're looking for is sponsorship and donations from local businesses and individuals," he said.

"We have an impressive list of people supporting us at the moment, but we would like for more people to get on board."

He added: "Without their help the station isn't going to happen."

The Bay has already won the backing of MPs Robert Syms and Annette Brooke, among others.

The mayor of Poole, Cllr Judy Butt, has also offered support.

She said: "Everyone who wishes to have access to it will have the opportunity to be heard.

"This will greatly enhance our work of voluntary and charitable organisations, schools and churches to name but a few.

"The watchwords for the new station are interaction and participation' so no one will be denied a voice."

A location has yet to be settled upon, but Mr Coote said it would be in the heart of Poole.