Just like Mark Murphy I am very proud to have worked at BBC Radio Suffolk. 

It was the station that offered me my first BBC contract some 20 plus years ago. But just like the world in which we now inhabit, the radio station itself was very different. 

Whilst on the verge of the digital age, BBC Radio Suffolk still ran on tape back then, whilst over at BBC Look East the now common sight of reporters shooting their own material on mobile phones was a fanciful thought. 

The teams provided single services for the county and if you didn’t catch the breakfast programme or the hourly news bulletins there was no other way of finding out what the BBC was doing in Suffolk. 

Fast forward to 2024 and the service we now provide for Suffolk is now more than just radio. 

As the county has changed, so have we. 

Our audiences expect a local service from the BBC to be more than just radio.

Our local online news index for the county is connecting with hundreds of thousands demonstrating the appetite our audience have for trusted news and information for and about Suffolk. 

Our social platforms are breaking records – with millions coming to our feeds as we celebrated Ipswich Town’s Premier League promotion with the county. 

And in TV – BBC Look East is in rude health. 

East Anglian Daily Times: BBC Look East, presented by Amelia Reynolds, is in good health, says BBC local radio boss, Robert ThompsonBBC Look East, presented by Amelia Reynolds, is in good health, says BBC local radio boss, Robert Thompson (Image: Archant 2021)

The collective might of all our regional news programmes made them last week the most watched news programme on British television every single day. 

All of this means 50 per cent of the county are consuming our content across radio, news online, BBC Sounds, BBC Look East and our social platforms every single day. 

The changes we have made are all about ensuring we are able to provide an even better local service. By investing in producing audio for BBC Sounds, creating podcasts for local communities of interest and with social media producers using their expertise to push the right content to the right people we should be reaching far more local people than we’re able to with just a local radio service. 

East Anglian Daily Times: EADT columnist was critical of the BBC's local service in the EADT on SaturdayEADT columnist was critical of the BBC's local service in the EADT on Saturday (Image: Newsquest)

We are committed to our local services. We’re not giving up. Rather than abandon our audiences as Mark suggested in his EADT column on Saturday, we’re actively ensuring we are valuable to every single person in Suffolk whether they consume our content on online, radio or TV. 

It is essential we are available to all audiences when and where they want us, not just providing content when our schedules allow it. 

We are very much open for business – we celebrated with Ipswich Town on their brilliant promotion with live coverage on radio and online, you’ll see us at the Suffolk Show, Ipswich Music Day and with local communities to help them tell their stories. 

Neither have we pulled out of local radio. Far from it. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Wayne Bavin wakes the county up on BreakfastWayne Bavin wakes the county up on Breakfast (Image: Newsquest)

Wayne Bavin wakes up the county with Breakfast live and local as it always has been, Sarah Lilley connects the county in the morning with Louise Hulland fast becoming an appointment to listen in the afternoon. And of course, our brilliant sports team are there to chart the highs and lows – they’ve just had an exceptional season and I’m excited to hear them follow Ipswich Town into the year ahead. 

But despite all this change – there is one constant, and that’s the phenomenal team at St Mathew’s Street who day in, day out are producing incredible content across all our platforms that is really connecting with audiences. 

I couldn’t be prouder of them, and now 20 years on, it is exciting to see how the BBC is truly focussed on providing a brilliant local service for everyone in the county.