Project Restore visits Stockton-on-Tees
Arqiva chief executive Paul Donovan today joined colleagues at a market stall in Stockton-on-Tees to give information and help to local residents about how to restore TV services following the Bilsdale Mast fire.
He later joined council leaders and representatives from local charities to provide an update on the progress of Project Restore.
More than 97% of households across the affected area of Tees Valley, County Durham and North Yorkshire have now had some TV services restored, but Mr Donovan said there is still “more to do” to help local people.
In the past eight days, developments at three sites have improved TV signals for thousands of residents across the region. Signals from the site at Eston Nab, south of Teesside, were increased in power while two brand new relay sites at Bainbridge near Leyburn, and at Kirkbymoorside, near Pickering were switched on. Other relay sites have previously been erected at Loftus and Thirsk.
Construction work on an additional 80-metre mast to further improve services is under way at Bilsdale. The original Bilsdale Mast, which was more than 300m tall, was demolished in October following the fire on August 10.
Arqiva has taken out press and radio adverts across regional media to ask residents who may have elderly or vulnerable friends, family or neighbours to encourage them to call the dedicated freephone line on 0800 121 4828 so help and information can be provided.
In many cases a retune or rescan of the TV will fix the problem, and the leaflets being handed out at the market today, and at other local markets, contain instructions on how to do that. The Project Restore website, bilsdalemast.co.uk , also provides retuning information.
Company staff have provided information to the public with stalls at Northallerton, Helmsley and Ripon markets in recent weeks.
More engineers are providing a service to those affected as Arqiva further steps up its efforts to ensure that some TV services are restored to all residents across the region, especially with Christmas approaching.
Arqiva has sent vouchers to residents in areas where there was no TV signal – the so-called “not spots”. The vouchers can be spent at Currys, online or in store, to buy a TV streaming device. Almost 5,000 people have already taken up the offer, but Arqiva is sending out thousands of reminders across the area to encourage even greater take up.
Arqiva CEO Paul Donovan said: “From the outset we have committed to helping people affected by the Bilsdale Mast fire. We are working hard to restore services, but while we have made progress we know that we still have more to do. I ask people across the community to encourage anyone they know who has no TV service to contact the freephone helpline on 0800 121 4828 so we can support them.”