Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Dr John Mahony, has kicked off an awareness campaign in Plymouth for four new radio transmitters.
All local DAB listeners will need to retune their radio sets as well, as frequencies for the local digital radio stations change, and new ones are added.
BBC Radio Devon, Heart, Smooth, Capital, Gold, Pirate Oldies and Kiss will now be available to 100,000 more listeners in the Plymouth area for the first time, around Tavistock, Torpoint and Ivybridge, and a further 18,000 listeners in Kingsbridge will be covered in March 2016, through the launch of the new local DAB transmitters.
Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Dr John Mahony, said: “Plymouth is served by a great variety of local stations. I am delighted that now even more listeners in Plymouth will be able to hear these important and well-loved stations on digital radio and encourage everyone to retune their radios this morning.”
The new Plymouth transmitters, which have been built by communications infrastructure company, Arqiva, are part of an industry and Government programme of work that aims to expand the coverage and listening to DAB digital radio. Government, BBC and commercial radio have agreed plans to build a further 182 local DAB transmitters to extend local DAB coverage to more than 90% of the population which will bring eight million listeners across the UK into coverage and will add over 6,700 km of roads.
Over 51% of homes in Devon have a DAB digital radio, and 42.2% of radio listening hours are to digital platforms. Until now many listeners in Plymouth have not been able to receive any of their great local stations via DAB digital radio.
Here are the quotes from the event this morning in Plymouth:
Mark Grinnell, Editor, BBC Radio Devon, said: “BBC Radio Devon has been central to life in the county for over 30 years and we’re proud to be one of BBC’s biggest local radio stations. We’re encouraging our loyal family of listeners on DAB digital radio in Plymouth to retune their digital radios this morning to ensure we can continue bringing them all the local news, sport, and entertainment they love.”
Sara Bond, Managing Director of Global South West, said: “Global is home to the country’s biggest commercial radio brands, so we’re excited to bring Heart, Capital, Smooth and Gold to more people in Plymouth on DAB digital radio. We know that our listeners love the great music we play, as well as presenters like Heart’s Matt & Caroline and we want to make sure they retune to keep listening.”
Mark Peters, Managing Director, Pirate Oldies, said: “We’ve had a great reaction to Pirate Oldies since we launched on DAB just last month, and we’re delighted that even more listeners will now be able to hear Plymouth’s newest DAB station so soon after launch.”
Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK, said: “We are delighted that today over 100,000 more listeners will be able to enjoy their favourite local stations on DAB digital radio for the first time and we urge all listeners in Plymouth to retune their DAB radios to ensure they don’t miss out on the great range of services available to them in Plymouth.”
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “The big digital radio retune is fantastic news for both listeners and local radio stations. With more than 30 million of us tuning in every week, and three quarters of all cars now coming with DAB as standard, there’s no doubt the future of radio in the UK is digital. Government is working closely with our partners on the expansion of DAB digital radio, bringing listeners around the UK greater access, better coverage and an even wider variety of content.”
Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio, Arqiva, said: “I am delighted that the local DAB coverage expansion programme is continuing with Plymouth being the latest area to receive a digital boost. We look forward to playing our part in expanding local DAB coverage to the level of commercial radio FM coverage.”
Top photo: Laurence Harrison, Digital Radio UK; Richard Spencer, Global; Tristan Hunkin, UKRD; Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Dr John Mahony,; Isha Pit, UKRD; Emma Clements, BBC Radio Devon
Bottom photo: Richard Spencer, Global; Tristan Hunkin, UKRD; Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Dr John Mahony; Isha Pit, UKRD; Emma Clements, BBC Radio Devon