Lord Ashcroft to provide funding for St Helena

Written by on July 19, 2017

Saint FM Community Radio and the St Helena Independent newspaper are delighted to announce that because of the generous philanthropy of Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC the two media organisations will in future operate with financial independence. An agreement has been reached by which Lord Ashcroft will provide funding for the two media outlets for the next three
years. All the parties concerned believe this will result in the best possible information, education and entertainment service for islanders. Today’s announcement means that Saint FM Radio Guarantee Ltd and the St Helena Independent can operate with financial independence for the foreseeable future. The agreement follows a two-day visit by Lord Ashcroft to St Helena from January 9 to 11. This was the first time he had travelled to the island since he visited as a two-year-old boy with his parents in 1948. Lord Ashcroft is an international businessman, philanthropist, author and pollster, who has highlighted some of St Helena’s recent troubles, notably with its airport, in three lengthy blogs on www.conservativehome.com.

The Manager of Saint FM Radio Tammy Williams and the owner of the Independent newspaper Mike Olsson said “Because of the generous philanthropy of Lord Ashcroft our two entities will be working in close partnership and will operate as independently-funded media to the benefit of the people, which has always been our vision .Lord Ashcroft’s kind financial contribution to our cause cannot be under-estimated and we are delighted for his support, which will give us stability and assurance for the next three years. There is still a need to raise additional revenues for equipment and operational purposes and this will continue through advertising and local fund-raising activities with the community at heart” The board of directors of Saint FM Radio also commented
“We would like to make special mention of the support that we have received from St Helena Government (SHG) without which the station would have folded months ago. This includes the admirable work that went into the media review of which we would have been beneficiaries. We still very much support the principle of a level playing field and trust that SHG will continue its support through advertising and public relations activities. In going forward, we believe it is vital to have an independently-funded media that gives voice to the people but equally gives the government an opportunity to have its say.

Lord Ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft

There are massive changes that are coming to St Helena and it is the moral responsibility of a modern media in any democracy to challenge where necessary but also to educate, inform and entertain our listeners and readers. We would like to assure our readers, listeners, voluntary radio presenters and contributors to the Independent that very little will change operationally and we remain committed with all of you to serving the needs of this very special community.” Lord Ashcroft to provide funding for St Helena’s two media outlets Lord Ashcroft said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my recent two-day visit to St Helena and was made to feel so welcome by everyone that I met. I left feeling that I would like to make some sort of contribution to island life. I have always believed in the importance of a free and independent media and even from my short time on the island I could see that both Saint FM Community Radio and the St Helena Independent played an important role for Saints. I have therefore decided to provide these two excellent media organizations with financial support over the next three years. I very much hope that this gesture cements my role as a ‘friend of St Helena.

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