The UK’s first 24-hour black radio station Choice FM will receive a blue heritage plaque later this year, Huffington Post has revealed.
Due to take place on October 7 at the music station’s first HQ in Brixton, the plaque will be unveiled to celebrate Choice FM’s history as it celebrates 30 years since it first went on air.
Nubian Jak Community Trust (NJCT) – part of the London Blue Plaque Scheme which is run by English Heritage – is organising the unveiling of the plaque.
Following its first air date in 1990, Choice FM shined a light on black music from across the world; championing genres such as hip-hop, soul, soca, reggae and much more. However, in 2013, the station was rebranded as Capital Xtra without warning – with many seeing the move as the removal of a significant part of black British history.
Now, 30 years since it first aired, Choice FM’s legacy will be honoured in the form of a prestigious blue plaque.
The Choice FM Blue Plaque Group and other members of the black community have funded the plaque by making donations through a GoFundMe campaign.
Speaking on Choice FM’s plaque, Neil Kenlock – co-founder of the station – said: “Many Black British people, and those from many other communities, remember Choice FM and the strong heritage that it has left behind. The station gave opportunities to UK and international artists, businesses, charities and local community groups that did not have a media outlet.
“Since Choice FM there has never been another Black-owned, commercial licensed station that broadcasts across London. Therefore, celebrating the 30th anniversary is important, touching those who remember it and educating those who are not aware of this British history.
“The blue plaque will highlight the work of Windrush descendants and our huge impact on the radio and music industry in the UK. I would like to thank everyone, including Lambeth Council, for their support for this project.”