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Calon FM wins prestigious Radio Academy Award

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Pic caption (l to r): Calon FM station editor Amy Hughes; Professor Michael Scott, Vice-Chancellor of Glyndwr University; Mike Wright, principal lecturer in audio technology and Calon FM presenter Dave Williams celebrate after the station won the 2013 Nations and Regions category for Wales in the Radio Academy Awards.

Wrexham community radio station Calon FM has been named as the best of its kind in Wales in the prestigious Radio Academy Awards.

The station, broadcast from studios at Glyndŵr University, beat off competition from eight other radio stations to claim the 2013 Nations and Regions category for Wales.

Judges for the awards, the biggest in the radio industry, singled out Calon FM’s bilingual output, “clever use of language and colourful story telling” for praise.

Calon FM station editor Amy Hughes said the award had only been made possible by the work of its 80-strong team of volunteers.

She said: “To win with our first ever entry into the Radio Academy awards is really special. There is no bigger accolade in the radio industry but it wouldn’t have been possible without the work of our presenters, who are all volunteers.

“We’re a community radio station which is grant-funded and operates on a limited budget so it’s not easy to keep going but I think this shows just how successful Calon FM has been since we started six years ago.

“We’ve had 350 guests from the community within the last year alone and diverse content output which I think gave us the edge.

“The award is a tremendous boost to Glyndŵr University too, who can now boast providing an opportunity for students to work on an award-winning radio station.”

Broadcast on FM to listeners within five miles of Glyndŵr University’s Wrexham campus, Calon FM has built a following of more than 3,000 listeners worldwide online.

Amy is one of only two paid employees at the station, with fellow station editor Katherine Wade.

Their bid for the Radio Academy Award involved the submission of a 30-minute package of highlights from the station’s programming, plus a summary explanation.

A spokesperson for the Radio Academy Awards who judged their entry said: “Calon FM serves its audience well with its clever use of language and colourful story telling.

"This is a station with a strong and impressive range of bilingual output from arts through to politics, and some really strong presenters.

“The station is very accessible, stays fun throughout and fulfils one of the best yet simplest straplines – uniting the community. Truly local and interactive, it offers a great service to the area on a budget.”

Director of the Community Media Association, Jaqui Devereux, said: "The Nations & Regions Awards 2013 showcase some of the very best talent in community radio broadcasting from the centre of their communities and, in spite of reduced funding and adverse economic conditions, managing to excel on delivering social gain objectives such as providing access to the media for under-served groups, providing education and training opportunities, and developing and strengthening community links. 

“After over ten years on the air, we believe that community radio is maturing and becoming an integral and indispensable part of the broadcast landscape.

“Our sector has found its voice producing confident and innovative programming from and for local communities – and at last this is being recognised. 

“The CMA congratulates all participants in the Nations & Regions Awards 2013 for their commitment to passionate grass-roots community broadcasting and we look forward to seeing more community radio winners in 2014.”

Awards in the Nations and Regions category are made to stations with under 300,000 listeners. Calon FM now receives free entry into the national 2014 Radio Academy Awards.

For more information about the awards visit radioacademy.org
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