Mackem Craic in line for award

Some of the participants in Mackem Craic.
Some of the participants in Mackem Craic.

A community radio station is in line for a clutch of industry awards.

Spark FM’s community-developed audio drama Mackem Craic is in the running for two awards at the Community Radio Awards in categories Community

Development Project of the Year and Innovation Award.

In total, the station has been shortlisted for nine awards for the ceremony, which takes place in Bristol on September 23.

For Mackem Craic, the station worked with six schools across Sunderland and South Tyneside, holding workshops in writing, performing and editing.

The drama is staged like a phone-in show, with callers ringing in from Sunderland with increasingly darker tales.

James Whitman, who both delivered the writing workshops and worked as Mackem Craic’s lead writer, said: “I’m delighted that Mackem Craic has been shortlisted in two categories, as so many people contributed to this project. Mackem Craic was a bit of a toe-dip into community radio for me, and these nominations have inspired me to keep exploring this amazing medium.”

Mackem Craic was supported by funding from both the Cultural Spring, and the FourteenFund, both of which aim to improve arts engagement through creative projects.

Jay Sykes, academic tutor at the University of Sunderland, who produced Mackem Craic and led their editing workshops, said: “Mackem Craic is one of those rare dream projects. It’s a chance for me to work on my central passion, producing audio drama, but it’s also been wonderful to engage so many people from our six community groups.”