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GTFM is a 'not for profit' local radio station and registered charity based in Pontypridd where the Rhondda and Taff Valleys meet, a former coal mining area famous for Male Voice Choirs and Rugby alongside The Stereophonics and Tom Jones! Echoing the area's 'larger-than-life' personality, GTFM directly encourages its listeners to get involved in the community and take full advantage of services available to improve their lives.
Our charitable operation is run by a core staff of three, backed by an enthusiastic group of 50 or so regular (weekly) volunteers, plus others who are involved on a less frequent basis. The station costs around £90,000 a year to sustain and now has to entirely support itself through a combination of donations, charity fundraising events, the sale of advertising and sponsorship 'air-time', paid-for roadshows and volunteer subscriptions. Prior to the banking crisis, recession and subsequent Government austerity measures the station was largely supported by grants, so now, like many other UK charities and social enterprises, it is having to rapidly adapt to raising its own funding.
Donations: As a registered charity GTFM is always grateful for donations of any size to help it stay on-air. So, whether you listen on the other side of the world to keep in touch with 'home' or live just around the corner, if you enjoy what you hear and can afford to help, we'd love to hear from you! To make a secure on-line donation right now via Charity Checkout, just click on the word 'Donate' below, which also has a Gift Aid facility through which UK taxpayers can release money from HMRC without any further cost to themselves.
Radio Advertising and Sponsorship: GFTM offers very cost-effective radio advertising and sponsorship packages to local businesses. These include a recession-busting 'Small Business' category designed to make radio advertising affordable to the smallest businesses, including individual trades-people (the first person to take advantage of this scheme was a local plumber). To find out more call Sales at Gtfm Sales on 01443 406111, or email email@example.com
Former Grant Funding: Until the scheme changed at the end of 2012, GTFM had been part grant funded by the Welsh Government's Communities First scheme. This supported on-air promotion of local activities and services offered by the majority of former Communities First Partnerships in RCT. This funding alone paid about 40% of GTFM's annual operating costs and its loss caused serious cash-flow difficulties which continue, because it used to pay many of routine bills. Meanwhile SEWCED Business Development grant funding has paid for the establishment of GTFM's Roadshow unit and has been enormously helpful in marketing the station's highly successful audience research results (April 2013), as well as the station in general.
In Autumn 2013 GTFM was also very grateful to receive temporary grant support fron the Coalfields Regeneration Trust for two staff salaries as part of a project to upweight its efforts to bring in more advertising income. CRT also sponsored GTFM Weather for several months.
Now (2014) GTFM receives no grant support at all, which is why it's appealing to listeners and other friends for donation support and doing its best to increase advertising, sponsorship and Roadshow income.
The station has also negotiated a Service Level Agreement with RCT's replacement Pontypridd Communities First Cluster and hopes to do so eventually with other Clusters in places where it signal is strong, such as Porth and Mid Rhondda. Further ahead we hope to improve FM reception in Valleys locations currently receiving a poor signal because of the shadow effect of local hills.
GTFM is also very grateful for six years of grant support, whch ended at the start of 2014, from the Welsh Government's own Community Radio Fund. The Welsh Government now promises to purchase advertising air-time on GTFM for some of its radio advertising campaigns, which had previously only been broadcast on commercial radio in Wales.
In the past the station has also benefited from three grants from the Ofcom Community Radio Fund. And while GTFM has never received direct grant funding from Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council, it did buy £20,000 worth of advertising 'airtime' in advance in July 2012 and is still using up this 'credit' for occasional advertising campaigns and roadshow bookings. Receiving this cash in a lump sum was very helpful at the time, for which we thank the Council officials concerned and the elected representatives who inspired the move. Austerity cuts to Council budgets since then mean they are unlikely to be able to purchase fresh advertising in the foreseeable future, though other parts of the County Borough Council - along with Pontypridd Town Council remain supportive of GTFM.
Take-up of the Welsh Language is encouraged in our largely English-speaking transmission area through at least seven hours per week of dedicated Welsh language or bi-lingual programming.
GTFM was awarded Green Dragon Level 2 status for practicing the re-cycling and energy saving policies it advocates on-air and its studio centre in Rhydyfelin. Also, as far as was practicable GTFM powered its FM broadcast signal from sustainable energy (wind and solar) sources between 2007 and 2009 - a UK 'first' for a full-time radio station - until the solar panels and wind turbine were stolen. Two replacement hired generators were subsequently stolen too - and being forced by theives to rely 100% on diesel generated power at a time of fast rising fuel prices added thousands of pounds a year to GTFM's running costs and was certainly not the 'green' energy solution it had in mind. In spring 2013, following the final generator theft, a connection to the mains was made possible by our farmer landlord and a local electrical contractor who we are still paying back a bit at a time.
Click here to find out more about GTFM, including the story so far