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Lymm Radio to rebrand as Cheshire’s MIX 56

Paul Smith

Lymm Radio is rebranding to Cheshire’s MIX 56, more accurately reflecting its soon-to-expand geographical broadcast area along the A56 and M56 corridor.

The station, initially set up at the start of lockdown from a spare bedroom, is now a full-time, not-for-profit Social Enterprise with two on air studios in Lymm. This May it will launch on the new DAB Small scale multiplexes in East Cheshire and Warrington, with a new focus taking in the towns of Warrington, Knutsford and Altrincham.

The switch will take place on Tuesday, May 9 following the King’s Coronation weekend, when Lymm Radio will officially become Cheshire’s MIX 56.

The station is regularly out and about in the local community and has conducted live broadcasts from the Tatton Flower Show, Cheshire Show, Warrington Job’s Fair, the High Legh 10K and The Halliwell Jones Stadium with Warrington Wolves.

Recently, it broadcast a full two-hour outside broadcast to celebrate Cheshire Day from Portcullis House in Westminster, with guests including local MP’s Andy Carter, Esther McVey and Sir Lyndsey Hoyle, the Speaker of the House. Lymm Radio is only the second radio station in the UK to have broadcast a full live OB from Portcullis House.

Many of the on-air team come from a commercial and BBC radio background including MD Paul Smith (Key 103 and Magic Manchester), Piccadilly Radio’s Pete Reeves, Paul Fairclough (Signal Radio), Phil Roberts (MFM, Red Dragon and previously head of region, BBC North East & Cumbria) and co-founding director, Ian James (Magic Radio & BBC Radio Leeds and Merseyside).

The station has also given an opportunity to local would-be presenters with a chance to get behind the mic for local DJs including Matt Yates and Neil James.

Output is further enhanced with local sport, covered by ex-BBC reporter Dave Riche across the whole broadcast area, covering national league football, rugby and many other sports, and as well as the on-air programmes, the station has built a popular website, a useful local resource which attracts over 10,000 page views a month.

Lymm Radio already has support from local businesses with a growing portfolio of commercial partners including McDonald’s, Kids Planet Day Nurseries, The McGoff Group, North West Timber, ODEON Cinemas and, most recently, securing significant backing from United Utilities.

Station MD Smith said: “The station is going from strength to strength and with our move to DAB this year, the name change will be vital to help us grow. Lymm has been very kind to us, but we need to spread our wings a bit and offer local programmes which connect and relate to a wider local audience. We also need to sound slick and as professional as the big guys, so we’re investing in presenter development for all the team.”

Co-founding Director Ian James added: “In the 2-year journey from a small online station broadcasting from our spare room, to being on the verge of DAB, MIX 56 is bringing back local radio to Cheshire. The large radio groups have long cut local services back to the bone, which I believe is why we are growing our audience locally and being out there in the community.”

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