Ofcom has announced the award of a community radio licence to Radio Beca, which will cover west Wales.
The station is led by Geraint Davies, a former presenter at Radio Ceredigion, who earlier this year also submitted an application for the re-advertised commercial radio licence for Ceredigion.
Radio Beca will broadcast predominately in Welsh and will cover Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and north Pembrokeshire.
Radio Ceredigion was refused a request by Ofcom last year to cut the level of its Welsh language output, leading owners Town and Country Broadcasting to opt for a full re-advertisement of the licence so that they could reapply for it with a new format.
Mr Davies told the BBC that the decision to form Radio Beca was taken after Radio Ceredigion was taken over in 2010. “Winning the licence is a very exciting prospect because we’re not just covering one area, we’ll be covering three – Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and north Pembrokeshire,” he said. “Granting this licence is a major departure for Ofcom because in the past they have limited community radio coverage to a 5km (3m) radius of their home bases.”
Radio Beca is the 247th community radio licence to be issued by Ofcom and the station is expected to start broadcasts within two years.
It’s not clear whether the award of a community radio licence to Mr Davies’ group will affect his application for the commercial radio licence for Ceredigion. Radio Beca had made the community radio application last year. Organisations and individuals are not currently permitted to hold both types of licence at the same time.