Broadcast and Communications regulator Ofcom has approved a request from GTFM to officially serve the Cynon Valley as well as boosting its signal in the Ynyshir/Porth and Tonyrefail areas where hills prevent clear reception at present.
The volunteer powered station which pioneered community radio in Wales has been broadcasting full time since 2002 in Pontypridd and surrounding areas.
Pontypridd’s Assembly Member (AM) Mick Antoniw says: “Its great news Ofcom have approved plans to increase the range of our local radio station GTFM. Local radio is the heartbeat of our communities and I welcome the news that people in areas such as Tonyrefail who can’t currently receive the station will soon be able to access all the news from our area.”
Meanwhile GTFM’s official licence area will be extended to the Cynon Valley via new FM transmitters in Aberdare and Mountain Ash which will dovetail with the stations existing coverage in the Abercynon area.
Cynon Valley AM Vikki Howells says: “It is excellent news meaning that more Cynon Valley residents will soon be able to listen to their first rate radio station. Community radio has an increasingly important role to play in ensuring people know what is going on in their local areas, that citizens feel connected to their communities and aware of opportunities on their doorstep. As a strong supporter of GTFM, I welcome this positive development which will be of such benefit to constituents all across Cynon Valley”.
And Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council Leader Councillor Andrew Morgan says: “This is positive news for GTFM, which will provide the ability for this valued radio station to extend its coverage further across Rhondda Cynon Taf giving more listeners the opportunity to enjoy its community based content and coverage of local issues. These improvements in coverage will also improve the commercial opportunities for GTFM and in doing so support the sustainability of the station, which the local authority has actively supported since its inception.”
GTFM’s Chairman of Trustees, Colin Dixon said: “Ofcom’s decision to award an extension to our licence area to include the Cynon Valley and boost reception in Porth and Tonyrefail is fantastic. It will allow us to provide cost effective radio advertising to more local businesses and a platform for community groups and charities to promote their amazing work across a much wider area.”
And Station Manager Terry Mann, who made the extension request to Ofcom, said: “I’m delighted with this news! We’ve always included local news and community information from the whole of Rhondda Cynon Taf in our service and now a lot more people will be able to hear and participate in it.
The next challenge for the station is to raise the funds needed to build its additional transmitters, which it hopes will become operational during 2020.
6th December 2019
For more information contact: Terry Mann via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01443 406111.