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TLRC plan to relocate station

The Local Radio Company is looking to relocate one of its newest and smallest radio stations, Minster Northallerton FM, which has only been broadcasting in North Yorkshire for nine months. The possible move follows Ofcom's decision to relax rules on stations being located with their transmission area.

The station serves 40,000 people in Northallerton, Thirsk and Bedale, delivers eight hours of programmes a day, but according to local newspaper The Northern Echo, TLRC is looking at options that could see the station moved across the Yorkshire border to Alpha FM in Darlington, County Durham.

Brian Lister, project manager of TLRC, told the Northern Echo that TLRC wanted to make the best use of new technology, reduce duplication and cut overheads.

He said: "No firm decision has been made, we have not put anything before our board and we have not formally gone back to Ofcom. What we are looking at would not alter our coverage of the area. Programmes would still go through our transmitters in Thirsk and Northallerton, and would still be done by people moving around the area."

"Where you are based does not affect your localness."

The licence was considered unworkable by many when it was advertised by Ofcom in 2005. The first mention of Northallerton was in a document originally prepared by the Radio Authority, which suggested nothing more than the availability of frequencies in the area.

When Ofcom published its licensing timetable, the availability of a frequency had become a fully blown licence proposition, despite the size of the transmission area and number of stations already available in the area.

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