Wetherby and Harrogate small-scale DAB multiplex licence revoked

Ofcom has revoked the small-scale DAB licence for Wetherby and Harrogate with the licence owner saying the proposed service is no longer viable.

Wetherby and Harrogate Local DAB Limited won the licence in 2022 saying it had £25,000 set aside to launch the multiplex but now, due to escalating projected costs, says the service as proposed at application is uneconomic.

The company, which is owned by Your Harrogate Directors Nick Hancock and Adam Daniel, plus Alan Everard from Wetherby Community
Radio and Mark Oldfield, Chairman of Harrogate Hospital Radio, had arranged for the multiplex to be managed by UK DAB Networks, which entered voluntary liquidation in October.

Ofcom can revoke a licence if it suspects a service will not launch within 18 months of award, and Wetherby and Harrogate marks the 6th time this has happened.

Revoked licences so far are Wigan, Alnwick and Morpeth, Isles of Scilly, Inverclyde and Merthyr, whilst two others are currently off-air.

Ofcom says it will consider re-advertising the Wetherby & Harrogate multiplex licence should it receive any expressions of interest following today’s announcement.

“Should we decide in principle to readvertise, it may be appropriate to adjust the advertised area to reflect actual coverage of launched multiplexes nearby, and any potential applicant expressing an interest may wish to express a view on that issue and on timing of re-advertisement,” Ofcom added.

Nick Hancock told RadioToday: “ As the costs of this project have increased considerably since we applied for the licence two years ago we have taken the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the multiplex launch.

“Your Harrogate will continue to broadcast across North Yorkshire on the regional DAB multiplex which has great coverage in Harrogate and Wetherby.”

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