XS South Wales (Was Afan FM)
We saw what Craig Williams was planning for his own Community Radio station back in 2003 and decided to do what we could to help. He’d managed to get the licence fees together for a 3-day broadcast from 30 October to 2 November but had no equipment available other than domestic CD players. We decided to supply and install the basics of what was required to achieve a short-term broadcast without charge as we felt his plans were outstanding and warranted support. The result was installing a 10-watt transmitter on what we believe is the highest ever site for an RSL – on Foel Fynyddau above Port Talbot at 368m (1215ft) above sea level, fed from a studio on an old Portakabin in the grounds of Aberafan Rugby Club.
After a further 4 broadcasts which increased in duration each time, an application for a permanent licence was submitted to Ofcom and Afan fm was awarded Community Radio Licence number CR005 on 20 April 2005. This was the very first Community Radio Licence to be awarded after the initial trial phase and Craig was the youngest ever successful CR Licence Applicant.
We supplied and installed a model studio complex costing £67,000 in the Aberafan Lido on the seafront at Port Talbot in March 2007. The transmitter serving Port Talbot on 107.9 from the top of Aberavon House was commissioned on 12 April 2007 and the second half of the coverage project serving Neath on 97.4 from a lighting tower at Neath Rugby Club went to air on 23 October 2008.
The station was taken off air in December 2009 by a severe fire at Aberafan Lido although the studios were not actually damaged. A temporary service was originated near to the transmitter in Aberavon House until the studio equipment could be recovered and installed temporarily on the same floor.