Heart Northants

Heart Northants

Radio Station
Radio Station

Heart Northants

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Heart 96.6 (formerly Northants 96) was a local commercial radio station serving Northamptonshire.

The station broadcast on 96.6 FM from studios in Northampton town centre, via the transmitter located in the Kingsthorpe area. It was owned and operated by Global Radio as a part of the Heart Network.


The start of commercial local radio in Northamptonshire

Hereward Radio provided programmes from Peterborough in the early 1980s, using its former frequency of 102.8 FM.

Local radio frequencies on the FM band were expanded and re-organised to form 'sub-bands' (104-105 MHz were reserved for BBC Local Radio, whereas 96.1-97.7 MHz were given over to independent local radio). Local radio in the Northamptonshire's went as follows:

  • BBC Radio Northampton (96.6 FM) moved to 104.2 FM and 103.6 FM
  • Northamptonshire ILR (102.8 FM) moved to 96.6 FM.

Shortly afterwards, due to general difficulties within the commercial radio industry at the time Hereward withdrew from Northamptonshire and continued in Peterborough. In 1985, the Independent Broadcasting Authority assigned the Independent Local Radio franchise to a new company, Northants Radio Ltd, owned by Chiltern Radio Group.

Northants 96 launched at 10.00am on November 30, 1986 with announcer Tony West introducing the first regular programmes on the station. Following a synthesised alarm clock ticking saying: "Good Morning. 10am, Sunday 30th of November 1986, and this is the new sound of radio in......
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