The future of troubled city radio station Castle FM has become increasingly uncertain after it emerged it has been evicted from its studio over alleged non-payment of rent.
The station was hit by problems earlier this year when presenters, including top names John Leslie and Donny Hughes, staged a mass walk-out in protest at the actions of chairman Mike Templeton.
Mr Templeton, who is also a charity trustee and the company director, was said to have ignored a call for a committee to be established to help improve the company’s financial situation – and a vote which called for him to step down.
Now it has been confirmed that the Leith Dockers Club has locked the station out of its premises, saying it was owed a “substantial” sum of money in unpaid rent and had been left with little option. A spokesman for Leith Dockers Club said they regretted having to evict the community station.
He said: “We’ve tried to support the community by renting to non-profits, but we’re talking a substantial amount of money owed for rent and electricity.”
The station appeared to be broadcasting a playlist of continuous music yesterday afternoon, though it is not clear where the broadcasts are coming from.
Other employees and presenters have come forward with serious concerns over the suitability of Mr Templeton, who took over the chairmanship of the station when it changed from Leith to Castle FM.
Richard Templeman, 49, who until recently presented the station’s breakfast show with his wife, Carly, also a trustee, said: “I used to work at the station back when it was Leith FM and when the other presenters walked out I agreed to come back.
“At first we gave Mike the benefit of the doubt, but as the months went on there were too many things not adding up. My wife and I attempted to raise these issues with him, and as a result on Friday we received an e-mail from him telling us we had been sacked.”
Mr Templeton would not confirm or deny that the station had been evicted, but denied that he had sacked the couple, saying he could not go into further details about the situation at the station. However, in an e-mail seen by the Evening News sent to Mr Templeman on Friday, Mr Templeton wrote: “With immediate effect the following 3 people, Ricky Templeman, Carly Templeman & Matt Shields Brown, will not represent Castle FM on air or of [sic] air in any campasaety [sic].”
Police Scotland confirmed that inquiries were still ongoing into a complaint made in March relating to the financial handling of the charity.
The station received £16,084 in 2011 from Ofcom as part of its Community Radio Fund grant, and the regulator said it had been updated in August 2012 and was satisfied the money had been spent correctly.