Bilsdale mast: Construction begins to replace fire-damaged TV and radio transmitter

Construction work is now underway to replace the fire-damaged Bilsdale mast in North Yorkshire.

About 100 people began construction of the new 262ft (80m)-high temporary mast on Monday (13 September), operator Arqiva said.

Thousands of homes in the North East and North Yorkshire have been without any signal since early August.

A spokesman said it was hoped to be operational within 21 days and will provide a Freeview TV signal to 90% of those served by the Bilsdale transmitter, which was hit by a blaze on 10 August.

The new temporary Bilsdale mast is on land 2,200ft (670m) above sea level and will only operate until winter.

Once the temporary tower is in place, work will begin on a permanent replacement on the existing Bilsdale mast site.

Work will include excavation of heather, which will be re-seeded in the area later, and installation of stone that has the right levels of acidity for the surrounding environment.

A spokesman for the operator said: "Arqiva’s priority is now on working with organisations across the affected area including local councils, housing associations and charities to reach and support those who may remain without signal following the mast build, and to prioritise the most vulnerable people affected."

Adrian Twyning, Chief of Operations at Arqiva, said: “We are working 24/7 to restore services to as many people as possible across the North-East and North Yorkshire. This is complex work, involving multiple agencies and highly skilled teams. We are fully committed to the task at hand.”