Britain's first solar-powered community radio station could be up and running in South Birmingham in a few months' time, organisers say.

The station - which is set to be broadcast across Brandwood, Billesley, Moseley and Kings Heath at first - will run a mixture of public information and entertainment.

Community broadcasting veteran Peni Whelan, who lives locally, is one of the people behind the venture, as well as former social worker Nick Shough.

They are now looking to get as many people involved as possible to make a strong case for funding.

They pair held a meeting last week in Kings Heath to try to drum up support for the idea, and have received backing from local broadcasters Adrian Goldberg and Janice Long.

"We're looking to run two specific types of programme," said Ms Whelan. "During the day we want to run things like community safety messages, getting the police to come on air and tell people how to be safe.

"And then in the evening we are looking for local young people who are aspiring DJs or adults who have got an interest in music."

If it gets the go-ahead and proves a success, the organisers hope to expand the radio station to cover the whole of South Birmingham.

"At the moment, it's all about getting people's ideas and opinions," said Ms Whelan. "This station will be made for the community, by the community, allowing people to express themselves.

The project - which will be run mostly by volunteers - will also be tied in with eight "radio clubs" in schools across South Birmingham.

The team plans to appoint project managers who will go into schools and tell them how to make radio programmes, and get them involved with the community radio scheme.

If they can get enough funding behind the project, the community radio team want to run a 28-day trial broadcast in the summer to gauge the local reaction. The team will need about £10,000 to cover the cost of setting up the station.

They said they hope to pay for the long-term running costs of the station mostly through community funding, public money and training grants, along with support from local businesses.

They have already had confirmed support from Kings Heath Community Partnership, and positive feedback from the Kings Heath Business Improvement District.

Local MPs Lynne Jones, Stephen McCabe and Richard Burden have also given their backing to the project. The Government grants licences for community radio stations to broadcast for a month at a time, twice a year.

If everything goes to plan the station plans to be on air in time for the Kings Heath Carnival in July. If the trial is successful, the radio station could continue broadcasting on the internet, with the intention of applying for a permanent FM frequency when one becomes available.

"We are never going to be able to compete with the likes of BRMB in audience, but we could take away from the BBC by offering a different type of local programming," said Mr Shough.

"This is very much about giving an on-air voice to the community."

If it is set up the station will be the first ever solar-powered radio station, based on models in Germany and new Mexico.

* To find out more contact communityradio