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New TV Mast Leaves 23,000 Homes Without Pictures

A new scheme is launched to help those affected by the loss of the Bilsdale TV Transmitter including some homes on the Yorkshire Coast.

A new, temporary mast at Bilsdale has now been switched on, helping to restore TV services to approximately 95% of households across the region who lost pictures when the main mast caught fire in August.

The switch on of the 80-metre mast following extensive testing means that people across the area will now need to retune their TV sets. A guide on how to do this can be found at bilsdalemast.co.uk

Not everyone is covered by the switch on, and more details on help for people in these so-called “not-spot” areas, where TV services are still affected, has been published today.

Transmission company Arqiva estimates that 23,000 homes fall into this category across North Yorkshire and Teesside.

Arqiva today announced:

  • The bilsdalemast.co.uk site is now live, with more details of how to get help and who is eligible in the initial stage
  • Eligible groups will have access to a freephone number and the option to book engineers to visit their homes
  • Vouchers will be sent out to help households in the “not-spot” areas restore their TV services.

Specific groups of affected people are being prioritised at this stage, and local charities in North Yorkshire, Tees Valley and County Durham are helping Arqiva reach them. The specific groups being prioritised are those over 65, the clinically vulnerable and other vulnerable people with carers.

For these groups, a freephone line is available for help – 0800 121 4828 - and engineers can be scheduled to visit the homes of people in those affected areas and in those groups.

In addition, people living in the “not-spot” areas where services are not restored by the switch on will receive a voucher to cover the cost of an alternative fix which can be chosen from a range of products which will provide ways to receive free to air TV, including a Roku stick device and an Amazon Fire TV Stick. The voucher can be redeemed in store and online.

Arqiva say Letters will be sent out to homes on how to claim the vouchers. An online form will also available for completion by those in the priority categories.

Arqiva says it is working closely with local authorities, housing associations and charities to track down those affected and to provide support and information.

Paul Donovan, Arqiva’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“I want to pay tribute to the work and commitment of our teams working around the clock on the moor at Bilsdale to get this temporary mast finished quickly and safely. It is an important step in Project Restore to getting services back across the region, but there is much more work to be done.

“We remain absolutely committed to supporting the most vulnerable people affected by the loss of TV services, and today we are setting out our latest steps to do just that, working with our partners.”

The old Bilsdale mast was demolished last week, clearing the way for a new permanent mast to be built.


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