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A letter of intent will be sent to Ofcom from Deeside (Wales) Community Media (DCM) to the effect that it intends to apply for a licence to establish a full-time community radio station called Radio Deeside.
Some local politicians have already thrown their support behind the station which will be run by a not-for-profit charity, backed by volunteers. One of the key players is a man who has been the voice and face of local radio most of his working life. Roy Norry from Hamilton Road, Connah's Quay, 'cut his teeth' on the original Radio Deeside set up as one of a series of community stations by the BBC in 1978 prior to the launch of BBC Wales. It became so popular it had its broadcast range extended and became Radio Clwyd, based in an old school house in Mold. Roy also worked for the former Marcher Sound commercial station based just outside Wrexham.
With the support of Barry Dugdale (a former health trust manager with a keen interest in community broadcasting), Martin Ellett, former councillor Gareth Williams and social media expert Jonathan Sheppard, Roy wants Deeside to have the community radio which has been granted to just about everywhere else in North Wales.
"We started about three weeks ago and are in the process of forming a committee to include the people with the necessary skills. We've been thinking about this for more than two years. We tried once before but it was just the wrong time, wrong place. Ofcom has given out 11 licences in Wales, mostly in North Wales, so that we now have community radios from Anglesey to Wrexham, with only Deeside as a large urban area missing out," said Roy.
While commercial radio depends on advertising for its funds, community radio can legally raise only a small portion of its budget through advertising and looks for the rest through grants and the support of volunteers. Roy had previously launched the popular www.northwalesextra.com website where he runs the North Wales Daily, news and information website.
In addition, he is now working on developing a more Deeside-orientated news and information website called A548 News to service DCM.
The letter of intent will tell Ofcom that DCM is serious in its aim of applying for a Restricted Services Licence (RSL). These 28-day licences give the broadcasting authorities time to assess the quality of the output and local support for the station before granting a full licence, which can take years to achieve.
But first DCM is on the look out for premises to base their station. "Flintshire county councillor Bernie Attridge from Connah's Quay has been very helpful. We understand that the old Mold Road primary school in Connah's Quay is closing and it may be that it would be an ideal site for a community focused development including a radio station."
Despite the plethora of local radio stations, Roy believes there is nothing truly local for the huge population of Deeside – which can probably lay claim to being the home of modern local radio in Wales.
"It's ironic because we were one of the first community radio stations in Wales, back in the early 1980s when steel making was closing down in Shotton. Now everywhere seems to have a community radio – except Deeside.
"We went out with microphones and cameras for the Olympic torch and for a Jubilee street party in Mancot and the reception we got was marvelous. It's amazing how many people still remember the old Radio Deeside days.
"We've had indications of support from local Assembly Member Carl Sargeant and we've put out some feelers with Deeside College. A local radio station could provide a very valuable asset for training.
"Technology has changed so much that people could make programmes in their own homes and present them to us. Unlike commercial radio which covers much wider areas, we would be a truly local community radio.
"The local drama group can come and put an appeal for new members on air; we can tell people about local events, discuss local issues of interest in the area, give out local travel news and weather, put out charity appeals, broadcast from local events and play music from local bands.
"We would want to put out a live breakfast show and afternoon show with pre-recorded specials for late evening," said Roy.
Those wanting to get involved in the local radio station should check websites www.deesidecommunitymedia.co.uk and www.radiodeeside.com