A local community radio station for the North Wales coast has made the jump from the internet to the FM air waves to reach more homes in Conwy and Denbighshire from this month (February).
From Monday, February 8, Sound Radio Wales will broadcast on FM 103.1 from its studios in Towyn to its audience which stretches from Prestatyn to Abergele and up the Vale of Clwyd to Denbigh.
Winning a coveted spot on FM is a big boost, according to Director Craig Kennealey, from Rhyl, who helped set up the station to broadcast on the internet in Kinmel Bay in 2018.
They are now putting out over 70 hours of news, views, music and chat a week from new studios on Tywyn and Craig believes the FM move will bring them to a more dedicated local audience.
He said: “It’s a fantastic boost for us getting the Ofcom approval and means we will be able to reach a local population of about 85,000 and that grows to a quarter of a million in the summer with holidaymakers coming in.
“We really want to use the station to benefit the area and that would include training people, especially young people, in the skills needed to create radio programmes and in important social and employment skills that will help them in life.
“One of the most important is giving them confidence because if you can bring a young person in and teach them to talk with confidence that’s an important skill for them to learn.
“It’s also about keeping people in the area connected by informing them about what’s happening locally and we have used social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, to reach out to people.
“For the past two mor three years we have been broadcasting online and we’ve used that to build up a listening audience with a mix of music and chat that includes a regular show focusing on business and one on disability awareness.
“It’s all about promoting the area and enriching the community especially in these difficult times.”
Geoff Stevenson presents Business Break Live for two hours from 1pm on Wednesdays with weekly guests from the business community interspersing their favourite tracks with chat.
He said: “We’ve all had to get used to operating in these days of Covid-19 so the first thing I do is change the cover of the microphone when I come in and then when I finish, I spray and wipe down everything before I leave.
“I have a two-hour show of music and chat and in the middle of it I have a local businessperson – I’ve recently had Katie Jones, a lawyer from Swayne Johnson who have offices across North Wales, and Adrian Standerwick of Active CCTV from Colwyn Bay.
“What’s important is to give a platform for those local businesspeople to show what a vibrant community we have and hopefully inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”
Craig Kennealey added: “Sound Radio will continue to operate to the demands of the community and help highlight and inform the area it broadcasts to, with a radio service that is fully focused on benefiting the people of the region.
“We have a team of 16 volunteers but we’re always looking for more and we want people with enthusiasm who want to be part of a team and who can help us keep the ball rolling.”
For more information on Sound Radio Wales go to https://www.soundradio.wales/