Zone 1 Radio was founded in December 2011 with a grant from Team London - the volunteering arm of The Mayor of London's office.

We have always had two key aims:

  1. To be the community radio station for the most diverse and dynamic place on the planet to live, work and study.
  2. To help those around us benefit from the social, professional and therapeutic benefits of volunteering - with a focus on helping our out-of-work volunteers into sustained employment.

Our output

We've made over 900 high quality on-demand radio shows on topics and issues important to people in our patch:  

  • We've covered issues including homelessness, isolation, stress, alcoholism and refugees in Central London. 
  • We've produced regular programming strands on arts and culture, community sport, technology and local politics.
  • We've made specialist music programming covering genres including ambient, folk, world, urban, EDM, reggae and unsigned music 
  • And we've made programmes in Spanish and Russian for the relevant communities living in London.

We've always been ambitious - never afraid to ask people to talk to us. As a result we've spoken to prominent members of our local community including Sadiq Khan, Boris Johnson, Michel Roux, Lord Coe, and Sebastian Faulks as well as prominent figures from further afield including Nile Rodgers, Michael Palin and five Formula One World Champions.

We've generated nearly 300,000 listens to our shows on audioboom and mixcloud and we've amassed over 50,000 followers on social media - including 16,000 on our @z1radio twitter account.

Not bad for an online Community station on DAB Digital in Central London!

There is only one place in the UK that you are told not to mention when working for any of the BBC's national radio stations. That place isn't Wales or the Orkney Islands...

it's Central London.

Our patch

As well as being the most diverse and culturally dynamic place on earth, Central London can also be a stressful, unhealthy and alienating place to be.

Commuting, pollution, high cost of living... all these factors and more contribute to endemic levels of stress and from there to levels of alcoholism and substance abuse significantly higher than the national average.


Our solution

Zone 1 Radio was founded in 2011 with the core aim of promoting the professional, social and therapeutic benefits of volunteering and encouraging our stakeholders to engage with the social and voluntary opportunities that London has to offer.

As well as advertising specific volunteering and befriending opportunities, we've worked with over 120 volunteers over the last five years, helping thirty of them into sustainable employment.

We applied for an Ofcom Community Radio FM Licence in October 2016 - with a view to being on air by March 2018 - to give us a platform to better reach our audience in Westminster, South Camden and the City of London.

As well as providing us with the ability to disseminate our community engagement agenda, the audience we will be able to reach with our FM licence will provide us with the scale we need to become a sustainable organisation - through a combination of advertising revenue and events - including the very successful LondonGigGuide Live, Saturday Social and Tech Forum events.