Ely entrepreneur Pete Dawe celebrates the launch of his latest venture, Cambridge TV, ‘for bright, curious people’

Cambridge TV

Cambridge TV - Credit: Archant

Ely entrepreneur Peter Dawe is celebrating after the launch of his latest venture, Cambridge TV, a new local channel which he says is for “bright, curious people”.

Mr Dawe’s company won a 12 year licence from OFCOM to offer what the channel says will be “the best in Cambridge arts, science, business and culture for viewers locally and around the world”.

The channel features a schedule of local shows and programmes from the community on Freeview channel 8 and Virgin 159 in the Cambridge area- the TV station hopes to attract viewers, too, from the Ely area.

Carl Homer, director of Cambridge TV, said: “This is a great opportunity to tell our Cambridge stories to one another and to the rest of the world; to promote and learn about Cambridge – its history and future as a centre for research, innovation and culture.

“We hope people will take advantage of the platform and help us shape it to reflect the city’s character, intelligence and creativity.”

The channel has its own studio, journalists and staff and welcomes freelance professionals or people seeking experience in television.

It will be supported by advertising, private investment, sponsorship and a news supply deal with the BBC.

Most Read

Mr Dawe says that in addition to the Freeview channel “we expect to offer our programmes on the internet, and to other media channels, again helping Cambridge to reach out to the world”.

The serial entrepreneur has founded over 80 businesses and organisations including Unipalm plc, PIPEX, LINX, ISPA, Flute Ltd, Internet Watch, Cambridge New Town plc, DaweMedia Ltd, Oakington plc, Sandy Lane Ceramics, Red TV Ltd. Intervivo Ltd, DaweVision Ltd, Dawe Estates Ltd, Dawe Leisure Ltd and The Wash Tidal Barrier plc.

One idea that didn’t come to fruition last year, however, was his proposed Ely eCommuter initiative to provide regular transport by mini bus to Cambridge.

He offered three regular commuters the use of a mini-bus – free of charge – in exchange for picking up fellow passengers on their way in to work in Cambridge.

Mr Dawe said that he was snowed under with offers from people willing to use the service but not a single offer from anyone interested in driving the minibuses – despite the promise of free fuel, insurance and maintenance.

But he latest accused commuters of being “too posh” to drive the mini-buses and said without regular drivers willing to take up the offer he was forced to scrap the plan.

He said: “I thought that offering free use of three mini-buses in return for picking up fellow commuters would have people queuing up for the opportunity. How wrong can one be?

“After months of promotion, I have people queuing up to ride in the vehicles, but no one prepared to drive.

As part of the scheme, Mr Dawe was to give away three mini-buses in return for a commitment to pick up and drop off fellow commuters at three designated stop-off points in Ely and Cambridge Science Park.

The driver of the bus was to have the cost of petrol, servicing, MOT, insurance and tax paid for and would have been entitled to use the bus as they would their own vehicle at weekends.

The cost of a return journey for passengers was to be £5, with a 10-journey pass available for £25.