Community TV channel closes

Solent TV, the UK's first not-for-profit community television station, has closed down because of insolvency.

The station, which served the Isle of Wight and at its peak had 70,000 viewers, had broadcast for five years.

Solent TV was a trading subsidiary of Isle of Wight charity, Island Volunteers, which has also been wound up.

Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner has reportedly called on the Charity Commission to investigate Island Volunteers following claims of mismanagement.

Solent TV was awarded a "restricted service licence" by the Independent Television Commission in 2002, the first time such a licence had been granted to a not-for-profit broadcaster. It described itself as a pioneer.

Island Volunteers was unavailable for comment. The charity's last two sets of accounts are listed as "overdue" by the Charity Commission. In the financial year 2004/5 expenditure exceeded income by nearly £200,000.

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