North East Wales

Digital radio: More stations for north east Wales listeners

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Media captionThe digital switch-on coincides with a BBC Radio Wales concert in Wrexham

Digital radio listeners in north east Wales will be able to pick up local stations for the first time as new transmitters are switched on.

Until now, only listeners in parts of south Wales have had access to Welsh stations like BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru via DAB digital radio.

These and other stations can now be heard by 375,000 people in north east Wales, says Digital Radio UK (DRUK).

The industry marketing group says 36% of homes in Wales have a DAB radio.

Friday's switch-on comes about five years later than originally planned, and has been delayed from a launch pencilled in for last November.

The two new transmitters at Wrexham Rhos and Moel-y-Parc were switched on by Wrexham MP Ian Lucas and local AM Lesley Griffiths, who were joined by Wrexham centre forward Danny Wright.

Listeners will need a digital radio - sometimes called a DAB radio - to receive the signal.

The transmitters will also increase coverage across Chester and Liverpool.

Steve Austins, editor of BBC Radio Wales, said his team was "always looking to improve" the way listeners receive the station.

He added: "Today is Radio Wales Music Day - a celebration of the best of new Welsh talent - so we're particularly pleased that listeners in this area will be able to hear this and all our programmes on their DAB radios."

Image caption Wrexham striker Danny Wright joined Ian Lucas MP and Lesley Griffiths AM for the switch on of the DAB digital radio transmitter for north east Wales and Chester

Lowri Davies, BBC Radio Cymru's editor, general programmes, said: "We know that our listeners want to be able to listen to Welsh language content across all platforms, so today is a significant step forward."

Commercial stations looking to extend their audiences via the switch-on include Real Radio, Nation Radio, Chester-based Dee 106.3 and 107.6 Juice FM in Liverpool.

The BBC's UK networks and a range of London-based commercial stations are already broadcasting via digital radio in north east Wales.

It is hoped the services will extend further west in the near future by the addition of extra transmitters.

Parts of mid and west Wales will also have to wait to have access to the full range of digital radio services.

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