Caithness FM

Caithness FM was established in the early 1990’s. We are committed to supporting local voluntary organisations, businesses, young people, and residents. After all, it is a community radio station! The station has received a tremendous amount of support from the people of Caithness and is forever grateful. The station acts as an information service discussing everything from lost cats to severe weather reports!

The Community Profile slot on a Tuesday evening is used by Caithness groups to tell the county about themselves and to promote their organisation or event. We also have a nightly WHAT’S ON DIARY which is totally FREE OF CHARGE and can be used by voluntary groups to advertise forthcoming events.

Businesses are welcome and encouraged to use CaithnessFM to promote their services too. Did you know that Commercial radio reaches 67% of adults in Scotland each week? Advertising rates start from £15.00 for 5 plays. See more about the advertising rates and how to sponsor a show for a 3 month period here.

Station history

  • MID 1992

During a chance conversation between then local MP Robert McLennan and Thomas Prag, Managing Director of Moray Firth Radio the idea of community radio in Caithness was born. So in December 1992 some public meetings were held to gauge public interest. The interest was positive, so the seeds were sown to get a radio station!

  • AUTUMN 1993

Links were formed with Moray Firth Radio which allowed an application to be made for a four week temporary broadcast. In October 1993, from a portacabin in the garden of a local councillors house, Caithness Community Radio took to the airwaves for the first time.

1993 and Caithness FM first takes to the airwaves, with a restricted service licence (RSL), for one month. The broadcasts were from a portacabin in Councillor Alistair Macdonald’s garden at Hill of Forss using borrowed equipment from Highland Council.


  • JULY/AUGUST 1994

A second successful RSL (Restricted Service Licence) was run for a period of eight weeks from Scapa House in Thurso (roughly where Lidl supermarket now stands).

In 1994 Caithness FM again returned to the airwaves, this time for two months from Scapa House in Thurso. This photograph shows the end of licence party with all of the people who helped over the two month licence.


  • SEPTEMBER 1994

It was agreed that the trial broadcasts had been a success and a decision was made to go all out to go on air permanently.

  • JANUARY 1997

After premises secured at Murkle proved to be unsuitable a lease on a piece of land in Neil Gunn Drive, Thurso was secured through the local enterprise company.

  • JANUARY 1997

UKAEA Dounreay donated a large “temporary” building for use as a studio.

  • MARCH 1997

The licence application was submitted to the Radio Authority’s office in the Docklands, London. This application was lost when the IRA bombed the Docklands so a further application was submitted.

  • AUGUST 1997

Our building was delivered and work began to turn what was basically a large derelict portacabin into a radio station.

The building that is now our studio being delivered thanks to the generosity of UKAEA at Dounreay. And so began the months of work to make the building suitable for use.


  • FEBRUARY 1998

Funding secured! Third lottery application successful, grants from local council and the local enterprise company together with generous donations from local groups, companies and our own fundraising efforts meant that the necessary amount was raised.

  • MARCH / APRIL 1998

The mast was raised, interior building works were completed and electricity and water were connected.

  • 20 APRIL 1998

Caithness FM took to the airwaves with Hugh Manson’s “Strathsounds”.

  • JUNE 2000

An extension to the building allowed for a new studio and record library.

  • 2006

Caithness FM were awarded funding from the Highland Year of Culture to purchase a trailer suitable for outside broadcasts.

  • 2008

We celebrated ten years of broadcasting by having a party with presenters both past and present.

And zoom forward to 2008 when cfm celebrated the 10th anniversary of going on air permanently. Company secretary Jackie Johnson and chairman Frank Charlton are pictured with the many people involved at that time.


  • 2009

Major renovations to the building were undertaken. This included stripping the wooden cladding from the whole exterior of the building and replacing it with stainless steel PVC coated cladding.

  • 2017

After 19 years of broadcasting on 102.5 FM in conjunction with Moray Firth Radio, Caithness FM successfully applied for its own broadcasting licence and began the two year procedure of preparing to relaunch the station on 106.5M.

  • JANUARY 2020

Relaunch of Caithness FM on 106.5M.

  • Contact
  • Caithness FM
  • Neil Gunn Drive
    KW14 7QU

  • T: 01847890000

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