It?s Official ? Neath & Port Talbot now has a new dedicated local radio service in the form of AfanFM ? the UK?s first new Community Radio Service which was awarded a full time FM radio licence on Wednesday.
The station was setup 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 we?ve done what we?ve set out to do ? in effect we?ve become the UK?s first new Community Radio service and there?s not a single area in the UK that deserves it more than Neath-Port Talbot. We?ve proved that there is massive demand for our services here and I think the entire Borough will be celebrating tonight. 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? said Craig Williams, the founder and current Project Manager at AfanFM.
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.