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University Radio Bath

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University Radio Bath

University Radio Bath
Broadcast area University of Bath - Local AM & Online (URB Online)
Frequency 1449 KHz (Univ. of Bath)
Online (Rest of World)
Mobile (Rest of World)
First air date 1973
Format Contemporary Student
Owner University of Bath Students' Union
Website URB Online

University Radio Bath (commonly referred to as URB) is the award-winning student-run radio station from the University of Bath, England. It is the only radio station broadcasting from the City of Bath.


University Radio Bath is run entirely by volunteers, all students studying at the University of Bath. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day throughout the year, although live broadcasts tend to only be during semester time. The schedule is made up of a variety of shows including entertainment, news, speech, drama and specialist music. With a new intake of students each academic year, the station's output can change significantly.


URB 963, launched on 16 May 1973. It was one of the first University radio stations built in the UK to broadcast on Medium Wave on an induction loop system across the campus. The station was built and designed by students Jonathon White (Electrical Engineering) and Stephen Ainger (Physics) and launched by BBC Radio 1's Annie Nightingale and Pete Bradey. The first year anniversary was hosted by the BBC Radio 1 Roadshow with Alan Freeman (DJ) in the Students' Union. In 1994 and 2003, URB also broadcast under short-term Restricted Service Licences across the city of Bath on the FM band. In 1995, Torch FM 106.2 used URB studios and presenters to provide a city-wide radio service for the European Youth Olympics in Bath.

The station was originally broadcast from a landing in the Electrical Engineering Department and carried by induction loops in all of the campus residences. A year after launch the station moved the current studios in Norwood house but still retained the induction loop transmitters, which were updated and expanded as new residences were built on campus. Over the years loudspeakers playing URB were added to the campus laundrettes and the students' union coffee shop. In summer 1994 renovations to the Westwood blocks severed the wires to the loops there and after that URB 963 could only be heard in Eastwood, Wessex and Norwood. On 8 February 2001 at 14:49 1449AM URB launched as a low powered AM service covering the whole campus and the remaining induction loops on 963 were switched off. The addition of online and mobile streaming has also given the station a significant boost.

Neil Fox - better known as Dr Fox - and Richard Evans of Radio 1 Newsbeat both started their careers at URB.

In 1987, three URB presenters (Graham Hutkins, Ben Ramsden & Andrew Wiseman) broadcast a special 24-hour show, raising money for local charities.

In September 2014 the radio station was renamed University Radio Bath.

Recent History

In March 2008, presenters broadcast 60 hours of continuous live shows to raise money for the charity Hearing Aid and the station hosted the National Student Radio Conference[1] on behalf of the Student Radio Association the conference between 17 and 19 March featured talks from a variety of speakers from the world of radio including BBC Radio 1's Greg James.[2]

In April 2012, Bastille performed an acoustic session from URB's studios.

In March 2014, BBC Radio 1's Scott Mills presented the Student Radio Chart Show live from URB with Jamie Lee and Bev Lung as a prize provided by Radio 1 for the station winning Best Student Radio Chart Show at the Student Radio Chart Show 2013. The show was executively produced by Matt Reed and BBC Radio 1's Chris Sawyer and featured an interview with Bradley Simpson of The Vamps. The show was also the first ever Student Radio Chart Show to be fully visualised.

In May 2014, URB won their first Radio Academy Awards for Best Technical Innovation at the 2014 Awards. The station won bronze for Head of Online, Jonty Usborne's Responsive Radio and Unified Station Management Application.

The station's schedule currently includes shows such as Barcodes, Blue Monday and The Morning After with Matt & Tim.[3]


The URB Studio - Norwood House, University of Bath

URB has a set of 3 studios in the heart of the newly built Student Centre and an office; Studio 1 - the main broadcast studio, Studio 2 - a DJ studio/visualization suite, and finally Studio 3 - a production studio and news room.

The station broadcasts live shows from throughout the day and into the night, with shows ranging from daytime entertainment shows to specialist music. When there's not a live presenter in the studio, an interactive "non-stop" service fills in the gaps. URB also informs the campus with hourly news bulletins from the Sky News Centre. Additionally, every evening URB programmes talk-based or specialist shows.


Radio Academy Awards
Year Award Details Result
2014 Best Technical Innovation Responsive Radio and Unified Station Management Application (Jonty Usborne) Bronze[4]
Arqiva TechCon Awards
Year Award Details Result
2014 Technical Excellence Responsive Radio and Unified Station Management (Jonty Usborne) Nominated[5]
Student Radio Association Awards
Year Award Details Result
2014 Best Student Radio Station Silver
Best Technical Achievement Responsive Radio (Jonty Usborne) Gold
Best Speech Programming Crowe (Darius Gilani) Bronze
Best Specialist Music Programming Last Donut of the Night (Lewi Field) Bronze
2013 Best Student Radio Chart Show Jamie Lee, Bev Lung (Presenters); Matt Reed (Executive Producer); Will Patrikiadis, Darius Gilani, Gilbert Holland-Lloyd (Producers) Gold
Best Technical Achievement UK Radioplayer Console and Unified Station Management Application (Jonty Usborne) Gold
Best Newcomer Jamie Lee Nominated
2011 Best Student Radio Station Bronze[6]
Best Journalistic Programming Coverage of the 2010 United Kingdom student protests Bronze
Best Student Radio Chart Show David James, Michael Parry (Presenters); Stephen Briscoe (Executive Producer); Simon Budden, Nick Hill (Producers) Bronze
Best Marketing and Station Sound Nominated
2010 Best Student Radio Chart Show Liam Matthews (Executive Producer) Gold[7]
Best Specialist Music Programming "Polished Music" (Jan Czerbak), a programme devoted to Polish music Gold
2008 Best Marketing & Branding Bronze
Best Technical Achievement URB Non-Stop (continuous play-out computer system) Bronze
2007 Best Marketing & Branding Gold[8]
2006 Best Marketing & Branding Judge Mark Goodier commented that "there was something about the winning entry [URB] that really stood out". Gold
2005 Best Male Presenter Chris Day Silver
Best Station Sound Silver
Best Entertainment Programming Paul Kiernan and David Boddington Bronze
Student Station of the Year Two other nominations Nominated
2004 Best Comedy and Drama Component Parts (Gareth Gwynn) Gold
2003 Best Speech Based Non-Factual Because Fish Are Funny Silver
2002 Best Male Presenter Ben Vane (Station Manager) Gold
Best Marketing Silver
Best Student Radio Station Bronze


URB has sister stations at other universities in the area:

40th Anniversary Celebrations

In 2013, URB celebrated its 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the current committee, in association with the University of Bath Alumni Office and the Students' Union organised a reunion event for 2 February 2013 with many alumni reviving their old shows.[9]

In addition to a reunion dinner, the URB schedule for the weekend will reflect 40 years of broadcasting as former members will be encouraged to revive their old shows on-air.


  1. ^ "Annual General Meeting". Student radio association. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "About University Radio Bath". University Radio Bath. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "URB Schedule".  
  4. ^ "The Winners 2014 > Best Technical Innovation". Radio Academy Awards. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Full Radio Festival Line-up Revealed". The Radio Academy. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Student Radio Awards 2011: The Winners". Student Radio Association. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "AStudent Radio Awards 2010". Student Radio Association. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "1449 AM URB winning marketing campaign". U Talk Marketing. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "URB 40th Anniversary Reunion". University of Bath. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 

External links

  • URB Online

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