Its Official-Neath & Port Talbot now has a new dedicated local radio service in the form of AfanFM- the UKs first new Community Radio Service which was awarded a full-time FM radio licence today (April 20th 2005).
Chepstow-based Broadhall responded to the youth-orientated stations cry for financial support in its application to the UKs broadcasting regulator OFCOM. The new deal follows Broadhalls sponsorship of AfanFMs weather report in April of last year.
The station was set-up in March 2003 by then 18 year-old local boy Craig Williams, and has conducted two trial broadcasts to the area in October 2003 and April 2004. The April broadcast was a phenomenal success attracting over 129,000 hits to the website alone, as well as over 4,000 phone calls/text messages and emails!
Local residents can now expect a youth-orientated local radio service playing predominantly Alternative music from the likes of Keane, The Killers, Snow Patrol, Razorlight & Coldplay as well as helpings of cutting edge dance and chart music. In addition, AfanFM will also give local bands and talent an opportunity to shine with dedicated shows for them to do so.
It was a very nice wakeup call to receive from London and weve done what weve set out to do- in effect weve become the UKs first new Community Radio service and theres not a single area in the UK that deserves it more than Neath-Port Talbot. Weve proved that there is massive demand for our services here. I think the entire Borough will be celebrating tonight and I'd like to thank Neath-Port Talbot Council, transplanUK, Communities First, Broadhall and the very many sponsors, supporters and well wishers who have helped us get this new service for the Borough.
Michael Davies, Broadhall said:
We are delighted to have strengthened our ties with AfanFM and congratulate them on their award of the full-time FM radio license. It is the culmination of a few years hard work and stands as an example of what the young people of Neath, Port Talbot and the surrounding communities are capable of achieving.
In awarding the licence, Ofcom gave a brief breakdown of its reason for granting the licence to AfanFM:
The RLC (Radio Licensing Committee) was impressed with AfanFM's plans to give young people a forum to express their views, to get involved with the operation of the station, receive appropriate training and the support it has attracted from a good range of governmental and other bodies.
It is expected that AfanFM will begin broadcasting on an as yet unknown FM frequency in 2006.
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