The new mast began transmitting signals as of 5am on Monday 22nd May.

The old mast, situated in the North Yorkshire Moors, was seriously damaged due to a fire reported on August 10th 2021, which resulted in a loss of signal to up to one million homes within the North East and North Yorkshire.

Fire services managed to get the blaze under control but such was the extent of the damage, the mast had to be demolished.

Plans to introduce a new structure were fronted by transmitter operators Arqiva, who confirmed they were working on restoring service using a combination of temporary structures and existing infrastructure around the region. In the meantime, viewers in the Hartlepool, Redcar and the eastern edges of Middlesbrough were able to receive their television services from the Eston Nab transmitting station.

On October 6th 2021, Arqiva carried out a controlled demolition of the old Bilsdale mast, as the structure was found to be irreparably damaged.  

A new mast of similar height and capability to the old one has been built on the site, and most viewers’ TVs and set top boxes should automatically receive the new signals from the 300m tall structure.

The company said a small number of households may temporarily lose HD services for a few weeks until additional antenna are installed.

Adrian Twyning, chief of operations at Arqiva, said: “The first steel panel was craned into place on 7 September 2022 and now, just over eight months later I am delighted to be able to announce that a 300 metre mast at Bilsdale will once again provide TV signals to the region.

“The team at Arqiva, and our suppliers and contractors, have been working tirelessly since the fire to restore services to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible and I can’t praise their efforts enough.

“The unique nature of the structure, and the area it is in, presented some exceptional challenges which we have had to address. As we’ve said before, you wouldn’t choose to build the UK’s 12th tallest structure at the top of a hill on the North York Moors during winter but we committed to doing it as fast as possible and we have.

Viewers who experience loss of signal from Monday are asked to retune their TV, or contact the helpline on 0800 121 4828 if the problem persists.

Original article: Joe Willis/Richmondshire Today | New Bilsdale mast switched on

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