Inmates at HMP Grampian will soon be taking to the airwaves after a local community charity secured almost £900,000 in lottery funding to set up a prison radio station.
Aberdeen’s Station House Media Unit (shmu) was pledged £896,362 from the Big Lottery Fund to carry out a five-year project at both the prison and Grampian young offenders institute at Peterhead.
The scheme – the first of its kind in Britain – will give participants experience in creating a magazine, as well as music production and film-making.
Shmu, which currently trains Aberdeen residents in media production skills and community radio, hopes the initiative will help to reduce reoffending rates.
The charity’s Brian Woodcock explained: “We’re looking to replicate everything we are doing in the city within the prison.
“This is the culmination of a couple of years’ work, it’s about motivating people inside and improving their skills so that they can fare better when they are released.”
The project was developed by shmu coordinators in conjunction with partners in the criminal justice system after consulting with other agencies and serving prisoners.
Shmu chief executive Murray Dawson said: “This is fantastic news and will enable us to refine the work we have already undertaken in the prison and develop it further over a reasonable time period.
“We have a proven track record of using a range of media platforms in a number of communities to produce life-changing results.”
Other groups which received boosts through the Big Lottery Fund this week included Badenoch and Strathspey Community Transport Company (£485,047), the Grampian Housing Association (£365,186) and Home Start Orkney (£285,844).