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Arqiva can confirm that from 5am this morning, 22 May 2023 the new Bilsdale mast began transmitting TV services to the region.

Most viewers should notice very little disruption, if any, as the new mast uses the same channels and frequencies as the 80m tower that was previously providing signals. Anyone who experiences disruption, or a loss of services, is first asked to perform a retune and to call the helpline on 0800 121 4828 if any problem persists.

Shuja Khan, Chief Executive at Arqiva, said “This is a significant moment in the restoration of services from the new Bilsdale mast, and a real testament to the hard work and tenacity of everyone involved in the project.

“Most people will now be receiving TV signals from the new mast, as it is in the same place as the old one. If you experience any loss of service, and a retune doesn’t bring back your TV channels then visit or call the helpline on 0800 121 4828.

“I’m pleased that we have been able to switch it on today but our work is not finished. While our first priority has been returning the main TV channels, additional services such as radio and mobile phone coverage, will follow in the coming weeks and months, so the hard work on site continues.”

North Yorkshire Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, said: “The fire at the Bilsdale mast affected so many people and it has been an extremely challenging job to introduce the replacement transmitter.

“We have remained in close contact with Arqiva since the fire to ensure that we have kept our residents updated and reflected their concerns.

“The remote location of the mast has meant it has been a huge task to bring in the replacement transmitter, especially in often challenging weather conditions.

“I have been extremely impressed by the professionalism and ingenuity that has been displayed to ensure that the project has been completed as soon as it has, ensuring coverage for hundreds of thousands of homes across the North of England.”

A small number of households may temporarily lose high definition (HD) services for a few weeks until additional antennae are installed, however all HD channels can be watched in standard definition in the interim.

Since the fire in August 2021:

  • Over 25,000 calls to the Project Restore helpline
  • Over 7,000 engineer visits to households
  • Over 15,000 offers for Curry’s vouchers sent to households
  • 16 relays sites put in place
  • Around £200,000 donated to regional charities and good causes
  • Signal restored to 95% of affected households when first temporary mast is switched on – Oct 2021
  • Fire damaged mast is safely brought down – Oct 2021
  • Project Restore website launched – Oct 2021
  • More robust interim mast switched on – Feb 2022
  • Planning permission for new mast granted Feb 2022
  • Signal restored to more than 99% of affected households - May 2022
  • Steel fabrication contract awarded to North Yorkshire firm Severfield – May 2022
  • Old mast was 314m and 500 tonnes, built in 1969
  • New mast is similar height, weighs 250 tonnes
  • Mast includes over 4,500 bolts
  • Built with 50 x six metre lattice panels