Radio History  
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About Us

Radio History

Changing Lives For Good
 
spacerUCB was established as a charity in October 1986, having been the dream of a group of UK Christians who asked the successful New Zealand-based Rhema Radio, for support in setting up a UK Christian radio station.

UCB's first office in the UK was a borrowed bedroom in a volunteer's flat, using a second-hand filing cabinet and typewriter. However, just a few months later, UCB signed a three-year contract with Manx Radio on the Isle of Man to broadcast for four hours every night, from studios in Douglas. At 10pm on October 5 1987, independent Christian radio was launched and from those humble beginnings, UCB began growing into the thriving ministry that it is today.

Gareth Littler in Manx radio studios, 1988 spacerUCB later moved to larger premises - an old warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent - and year after year, the organisation continued to develop. Legislative constraints at that time meant that religious broadcasters were unable to apply for national licences and so UCB pursued national Christian radio via satellite broadcasting. On April 5, 1993, UCB was heard for the first time across the UK and Ireland via the Astra satellite. As a special 'thank you' to those who had helped get UCB radio on the air, UCB worked with an itinerant preacher from Northern Ireland, Bob Gass, to provide daily Bible reading notes, The Word For Today, to our supporters free of charge.

In July 2000, UCB's flagship station, then UCB Europe, moved to the new digital Astra satellite platform, which provided wider coverage and better quality digital sound. A year later, three further radio stations were launched on digital satellite: UCB Inspirational, UCB Bible and UCB Talk and all four radio stations were 'webcasted' via UCB's primary website, www.ucb.co.uk. UCB Europe was also ported to the digital cable platform in 2002. In May 2003, UCB launched a web-only Christian radio station; The Word, (www.thewordismusic.com) targeted at young adults between the ages of 20 and 30 (university and early career age group).

Presenter Anne Henderson praying on-air spacerUCB & new technology

In 2003, the broadcasting landscape changed dramatically with the 2003 Broadcasting Act, which for the first time, allowed religious broadcasters to apply for regional and even national broadcasting licences on the Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) system. UCB applied for a DAB licence and this was granted in November 2003. Throughout 2007, UCB's reach was extended and we continue to work prayerfully toward giving the UK a national Christian radio station.

Today, our stations are;

UCB UK - the station with chat, discussion, great interviews and the 'top 20' in contemporary Christian music. UCB UK is available on DAB digital radio - to see if we're in your area, visit www.ucbmedia.co.uk/dab. You can also listen on digital satellite channel 0125, digital cable channel 914 and online at www.ucbmedia.co.uk/uk.

UCB Inspirational features more reflective music and is available on DAB digital radio - to see if we're in your area, visit www.ucbmedia.co.uk/dab. Also available on digital satellite channel 0136 and online at www.ucbmedia.co.uk/inspirational.

UCB Bible is the Bible read, 24 hours a day in a variety of different versions from NKJ to NIV. Available on digital satellite channel 0134 and online at www.ucbmedia.co.uk/bible.

UCB Gospel features the best in Gospel music from around the world. Available on digital satellite channel 0135 and online at www.ucbmedia.co.uk/gospel.

The Word is Music is a youth-focused music station, available online at www.thewordismusic.com.

UCB TV was recently re-launched with a fresh new look. You can watch on digital satellite channel 586 or online at www.ucb.tv, full schedule information is also available.

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For more on the history of the different ministries of UCB follow the links below:
Radio | TWFT | TW4U2D | Prayerline | UCB Mobile
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