Video: Owain Llyr
MônFM has officially launched its second FM radio frequency as part of a major expansion plan.
The bilingual community station can now be heard on 96.8 FM from its new transmitter at Penmynydd, targeting the east of Anglesey and northern parts of Gwynedd.
The new frequency went on air on polling day for the Senedd elections, allowing more listeners in the area to tune into live rolling coverage of the Ynys Môn and Arfon results from the count centres in Llangefni and Caernarfon.
The expansion, funded by ARFOR (European Grant for Anglesey and Gwynedd) and ‘Y Gymdeithas’ (formally The Isle of Anglesey Charitable Association), will help MônFM expand and enhance its services and reception in new towns and villages.
The station continues to broadcast on 102.5 FM – serving western and central areas of Anglesey – and via its streaming platforms.
Tony Wyn Jones, MônFM’s acting chair, Tony Wyn Jones said: ”This is a culmination of six years planning, fundraising, site negotiations, and project management – we are very grateful to both Anglesey and Gwynedd councils, National Grid, Cellnex and Welsh Water and our faithful volunteers for facilitating the expansion.”
”We are now officially the licensed community radio service for Anglesey, Gwynedd and the North-West Wales coast, and we will continue to engage with communities, voluntary groups, public services and businesses across the patch. You can now receive MônFM on 96.8 or 102.5 FM – there is something to suit all from 7am until late into the night”.
Formed a decade ago, the station, run by unpaid volunteers, has continued to grow in popularity and is always looking to attract new people interested in local broadcasting.
As well as promoting and helping to maintain the Welsh language in its coverage area, it has played a valuable role during the COVID pandemic with important safety information and has made a positive contribution towards people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Its faithful volunteers have continued to keep the service over the past 14 months by broadcasting remotely from home studios using industry standard technology linked to its main studios in Llangefni.
In August 2019, the broadcast regulator OFCOM granted permission to build two new FM transmitters. 96.8 FM will offer improved reception for listeners in Bangor, Bethesda, Caernarfon, Llandegfan, Llangefni, Llanfairpwll, Menai Bridge, the Menai Strait belt and other surrounding towns & villages.
Trefor Lloyd Hughes, chair of the ‘Y Gymdeithas’ fund, said: ”MônFM continues to provide a valuable community broadcasting service to the people of Ynys Môn and further afield.”
”The funding provided by ‘Y Gymdeithas’ will enable more consistent reception which will help to communicate key information when engaging with residents, businesses and visitors. Our trustees are very pleased to be able to support the station’s expansion.”
Currently, MônFM produces around 90 hours a week of local programming, presented and produced by its volunteers, including dedicated traffic and weather updates at peak times, weekly features on the COVID-19 pandemic and local job vacancies, and the award-winning MônFM Sport on Saturdays.
The station is also planning to launch a third FM transmitter at Nebo, near Amlwch, to offer improved coverage in North Anglesey, along with a new studio at its Llangefni headquarters.
MônFM also continues to provide career opportunities for its volunteers, with some successfully gaining careers in commercial radio, the BBC, S4C, and other media outlets.
Dewi Lloyd, Anglesey Council’s regeneration manager, who led the ARFOR scheme locally, added: ”A consistent and reliable community radio service to cover all local areas equally will help to promote and support local communities and the use of the Welsh Language, and will make a valuable contribution to regeneration.”
You can also hear MônFM on our website, via our free mobile App (available for iOS and Android) and through your smart speaker – just say ”Play MônFM”.
If you wish to promote any community event or group, or wish to advertise or promote your business, or if you have any spare time volunteer with the station, email [email protected]