A potential 700,000 radio listeners in York, Harrogate and across North Yorkshire now have a local DAB multiplex.
The Muxco service will carry the programmes of BBC Radio York, plus “More Minster” and “Stray Extra” from UKRD.
At an event at York Racecourse today, local broadcasters Harry Gration from BBC Look North and Christine Talbot from ITV Yorkshire, together with Katherine Dow Blyton who plays the part of Harriet Finch in Emmerdale, pressed the big button to mark the official switch-on.
The service launched with four transmitters at Bilsdale, Acklam Wold, Olivers Mount and Harrogate covering over 80% of the local population.
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy said: “I welcome today’s big switch-on in York and wish BBC Radio York, Stray FM and Minster FM great success on DAB. The future of radio is digital and this is part of a major expansion of DAB digital radio coverage across the UK.”
Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK said: “This is a big day for radio and for North Yorkshire. From today over 600,000 listeners will be able to receive their favourite local stations on DAB for the first time.”
Sanjiv Buttoo, Managing Editor of BBC Radio York said: “We’re very excited that a digital switch- on for North Yorkshire is finally taking place. Our audience tell us they’ve been waiting to hear us on DAB for some time and it will be another way of being able to listen to North Yorkshire’s only county wide station. BBC Radio York offers a rich variety of news, sport, music and personality – with programmes hosted by established presenters – which we know will be enhanced by this new service.”
Bridget Davies, Managing Director of Minster FM, said: “We are delighted that Minster FM will be available on DAB for the first time. We know that many of our listeners have been looking forward to this and we hope that new listeners will discover Minster on DAB, and hear more of what has made Minster FM so successful in North Yorkshire for over 20 years.”
Sarah Barry, Managing Director of Stray FM, said: “Stray FM epitomises what true local radio is about so we’re delighted to offer our listeners in the Harrogate District another platform to listen to us on. We plan to offer a slightly different service on DAB which will enable us to deliver even more local content to both existing and new listeners alike. The Stray FM team are incredibly excited about the future and plans are well underway now. More details will be announced in the New Year but if you can’t wait until then, contact me now at firstname.lastname@example.org.”