AfanFM, Neath & Port Talbot?s proposed new Community Radio Station has revealed its plans to serve the area ? should it be awarded a full time Community Radio licence by Ofcom.
The station, which is currently winding down its second and final test broadcast, has already drawn up comprehensive plans which are to be submitted to Ofcom in the near future. These plans include 2 brand new ?on air? studios which harness the latest digital playout and recording technology.
One of these studios is designed to accommodate 3 guests simultaneously to allow for local discussions about local issues and sport ? something which the station successfully piloted during its current test broadcast.
A new transmission system has already been specified by AfanFM?s Transmission Director Ian Hickling, who this week completed a full appraisal of the area to find suitable sites to give optimal coverage of the Borough, following which he said:
?While it would not be appropriate to pre-determine what Ofcom say, I have put together a solution which uses the latest technology ? some of which isn?t yet available on the market. We will put these plans to Ofcom very shortly for its consideration but should they be accepted, we?re confident AfanFM will be able to be received well by the vast majority of the residents of Neath & Port Talbot?
As part of the proposals to become a full time Community service, AfanFM will train and advise local people who wish to break into radio and/or the broadcasting media in general as well as its primary objective of serving Neath-Port Talbot with local news and information and promoting initiatives in and around the area.
Project Manager Craig Williams is already looking to the future:
?These plans represent the very best in studio and transmission technology, which will demonstrate to Ofcom that we are totally serious in our bid to serve this area with the very best programming, and this includes the installation of first class studios which can equal and surpass anything that is currently offered by the established radio stations in Wales and indeed the whole of the UK?
The studio and transmissions system is envisaged to cost the project upwards of ?85,000 with funding bids being made to several bodies including the National Assembly of Wales.