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|
103.4 MHz (Wrexham and Chester)
97.1 MHz (Wirral)
96.3 MHz (North Wales Coast)
|Format||Contemporary hit radio|
|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.
Local programming is produced and broadcast from Capital's Wrexham studios from 6-10am and 4-7pm on weekdays and 12-4pm at weekends. An additional Welsh-language music programme airs from 5-6am on Sunday - Friday mornings on 96.3 FM only (serving the North Wales Coast).
All networked programming originates from Global Radio's London headquarters, including the syndicated Vodafone Big Top 40 on Sunday afternoons.
The station's local presenters include Ben Sheppard (Capital Breakfast) and Faye Bamford (weekday drivetime).
Capital North West and Wales broadcasts hourly local news updates, known as Capital Reports, from 6am-7pm on weekdays and 6am-12pm at weekends with headlines on the half hour during breakfast and drivetime on weekdays.
Local bulletins on 96.3 and 103.4 FM are produced and broadcast from Global's Wrexham and Cardiff Bay studios. Separate bulletins for the Wirral air on 97.1 FM, produced from Global's North West newsroom in Salford.
- 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 confirms Heart expansion details, RadioToday, 14 April 2014