GTFM refused government grant

GTFM, one of the first radio stations in the UK to be given an ‘access radio’ licence and more recently a community radio licence is under threat after an assembly government grant of ?80,000 was refused.

Five full time staff currently run the station along with a group of volunteers but it has been reported that the station will close down unless funding can be secured. Most other community radio stations are still to start broadcasting since the awarding of licences since early 2005.

The report, from says that the assembly government would not comment.

Andrew Jones, the station manager told the BBC: “We were funded mainly through Objective One (European Union) monies for the first three years, but that isn’t available next year. This grant that we’ve lost may seem small, but it’s our lifeline”.

Andrew Jones, GTFM station manager continued:

“We’ve never asked for or been offered any money from either Rhondda Cynon Taf Council or the assembly, up until now. “But without the security of this funding for the next three years, we just can’t survive. “Not only are five full-time jobs under threat, but so is the training we give to local people, and the access that they and countless local organisations have to precious airtime. “Community radio stations are only allowed to receive 50% of their income from any one funding source, including advertising. “This grant that we’ve lost may seem small, but it’s our lifeline”

“I think part of the problem is that we are such a new type of media organisation, not just in Wales but in the UK. “I don’t think we necessarily at the moment fit in with the categories that are out there for community development,” he said.

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