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    23 January, 2007

    Community Radio in the Rhondda

    I am very pleased that GTFM will now be setting up satellite studios in Penrhys and Treherbert, as a result of funding from the Assembly.

    It follows the award of more than £270k funding from the Welsh Assembly Government’s flagship Communities@One programme to GTFM.

    The Pontypridd based station is Wales’s first community radio station and was one of the first to go on air in the UK almost 5 years ago under a Government pilot project which led to the creation of community radio as a permanent feature of the radio landscape.

    The new project will see the creation of satellite studios in Penrhys and Treherbert in the Rhondda and Penywaun in the Cynon Valley. Local people and organisations will be trained up and each of the 3 areas will get their own temporary radio stations.

    The substantial grant shows the importance that the Welsh Assembly place on community radio as a tool for regeneration of some of our most deprived communities and as a means of upskilling local people in It related fields.

    Last November the Welsh Assembly Government’s Finance Minister Sue Essex made an historic announcement in the Senedd with the creation of a Community Radio Fund for Wales to provide essential core funding

    GTFM Station Manager Andrew Jones has been seconded to head up the high profile new project. His old role will be filled by Terry Mann, who has over 30 years of experience in the radio industry and was one of the original launch staff at Wales’s first local radio station Swansea Sound.

    CwmNi’s Regeneration Manager Rhys Burton says "CwmNi is extremely excited with this project opportunity for local community broadcasting to take place in the Treherbert area. We look forward to working with GTFM and the other two communities to see residents develop broadcasting and other associated skills which will go out on air across the surrounding Treherbert villages."

    Wayne Carter – Penrhys Partnership Manager comments that "this a great opportunity to get people’s voices heard, local bands to get air play, and a way of raising awareness of what’s going on in the local area. The location in Penrhys will hopefully broadcast across a wide area and particularly the Rhondda Fach. We welcome any individual or group who may want to get involved in this exciting project.”

    Anyone wanting to find out more about being involved should contact Hannah Grey at Penrhys on 01443 – 755580 or Rhys Burton at CwmNi in Treherbert on 01443 – 777 536.

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    Promoted by Leighton Andrews AM, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff CF99 1NA.

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