Clwyd West MS Darren Millar has welcomed news that a Colwyn Bay based radio station, which has been providing health news, information and companionship to the community during lockdown, is celebrating after receiving a grant award from the National Lottery.
Bayside Radio, set up two years ago with support of local organisations and communities in the Bay of Colwyn area, was invited by Ofcom to apply for a temporary radio licence to re-broadcast its online service during the lockdown period.
These broadcasts have been particularly important for local people, with little or no access to the internet, keeping them in touch with Coronavirus information in the immediate locality during a troubling and uncertain time.
As a result of all the positive feedback and letters of support, the radio service has received an extension to its radio service assisted by funding from the Lottery’s Awards for All.
Welcoming the news, Darren, who has been supporting the radio station since its establishment, said:
“I am delighted Bayside Radio are being rewarded for the excellent service they provided during the extremely difficult lockdown period.
“Their broadcasts were a great companion to many, particularly those who were on their own and feeling isolated during these months.
“This funding will enable them to continue supporting people as the battle against Covid persists and we are faced with new challenges.
“I wish to thank all those involved at the radio station and wish them continued success going forward.”
Jeff Pearson, Chairman and Director of Communities at the Radio Station said:
“We are very humbled to have received such an excellent response since we began broadcasting on the radio.
“Our volunteers have been incredibly proud to be part of a project which has not only informed and entertained local people, but has also provided a way for many charitable and voluntary groups get word out about the support and help offered during the crisis. “
“We are now looking to build on this success by working with our communities to identify and deliver content which highlights and addresses local issues in the weeks to come.
“Thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players, we will continue to provide an outlet supporting local groups and delivering social action programming on mental health, employment and the re-building work of the voluntary sector.
“Should the worst happen and another wave of the virus force us into lockdown during the next few months, we will be on hand to respond and provide our community with up-to-date assistance and help.”
Bayside Radio is part of Coast Community Radio and Media CIC, a not-for-profit group set up with the objective of establishing a full-time community radio station for the Bay of Colwyn.
Simon Wynne, Operations and Content Director said: “We are appealing to Ofcom to advertise an FM licence for a full-time station serving the Bay of Colwyn.
“We hope over time they will consider this possibility especially in light of what has been achieved and the response from local people. We know that our area will have a number of challenges to overcome as a result of COVID-19 and as such, the needs of the community should come first.”
Bayside is indebted to the many local volunteers who provide 60 hours of radio programmes, news, podcasts and online content each week.
Supporters and funders include the National Lottery, Gwynt-y-Mor Community Fund, CVSC, Coleg Llandrillo, Imagine Colwyn Bay, Glyn Ward Invest Local and the Bay of Colwyn Town Council.
The radio station can be heard on 87.7FM and online and www.baysideradio.co.uk.