Capital North West and Wales
|City of license||Wrexham|
|Broadcast area||Cheshire, Wirral, Wrexham County Borough, Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy County Borough|
|Slogan||The UK's No. 1 Hit Music Station|
|Frequency||103.4, 97.1 and 96.3 MHz|
|Format||Urban contemporary, News, Entertainment, Speech, Showbiz|
|Audience share||8.5% (December 2013, )|
|Website||Capital North West and Wales|
Capital North West and Wales is a local radio station owned and operated by Global Radio as part of the Capital radio network. It broadcasts to Cheshire, the Wirral Peninsula and North Wales. The station broadcasts from its studios in Gwersyllt, Wrexham, the former headquarters of Marcher Radio Group.
The station was previously part of the Heart radio network, which began broadcasting on 2 July 2010 as a result of a merger between Heart Cheshire and North East Wales (formerly Marcher Sound), Heart Wirral (formerly Wirral's Buzz) and Heart North Wales Coast (formerly Coast 96.3). It switched to Capital on 6 May 2014.
The regional station originally broadcast as three separate stations - Marcher Sound began broadcasting to North East Wales and Cheshire in January 1983, MFM 97.1 (later Wirral's Buzz) served the Wirral and parts of east Flintshire since March 1989 and Marcher Coast (later Coast 96.3) broadcast to the North Wales Coast from August 1993 onwards.
These stations were owned and operated by the Marcher Radio Group until the GWR Group's purchase in 2000. Five years later, the owners merged with Capital Radio to form GCap Media (later Global Radio). By 2008, locally produced programming had been cut back to daily four-hour breakfast shows and a regional weekday drivetime show from Wrexham for the Marcher, Coast and Wirral areas, although Coast retained an opt-out for Welsh language programming. The stations were rebranded as Heart a year later.
On 21 June 2010, Global Radio announced it would merge the stations as part of plans to reduce the Heart network of stations from 33 to 16. The new station began broadcasting from Wrexham on Friday 2 July 2010, leading to the closure of studios in Bangor.
The former North Wales Coast station retains an opt-out for an hour-long Welsh language music programme six days a week and early morning news bulletins in the Welsh language.
On 6 February 2014, Global Radio announced that Heart North West & Wales would be rebranded as Capital FM, with the Northern licence of Real Radio Wales being sold to Communicorp and relaunched as a new separate Heart station for North and Mid Wales. The rebranding to Capital took place on Tuesday 6 May 2014.
N.B. Alistair James presents a pre-recorded Welsh language local broadcast on 96.3 FM at 5am on Sunday - Friday mornings.
Capital broadcasts local news updates, known as Capital Reports, each day - weekday bulletins air half hourly between 5am and 9am, then hourly from 9am to 6pm. At the weekend, local news is broadcast hourly between 6am and 12pm. Local bulletins are broadcast from Global's Wrexham and Cardiff Bay studios.
- Global Radio to halve number of local Heart stations, mediaguardian.co.uk, 21 June 2010 Archived 1 January 2011 at WebCite
- Heart slims but strengthens, RadioToday, 21 June 2010 Archived 1 January 2011 at WebCite
- Heart North West and Wales public file Archived 1 January 2011 at WebCite
- Martin, Roy (2014-02-06). "Communicorp buys 8 Global stations". RadioToday. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- Global confims Heart expansion details, RadioToday, 14 April 2014