Digital boost for Scunthorpe

75,000 digital radio listeners in Scunthorpe received a digital boost this morning with the launch of a new transmitter bringing them their favourite local radio stations on DAB digital radio for the first time.

BBC Radio Humberside’s David Burns will broadcast his mid-morning programme live from Café Indie Pendent in Scunthorpe between 9am and midday, with Nic Dakin, MP for Scunthorpe, and long-term listener, Meg Smith, pressing the big green digital radio switch at 10.30am live on air with Burnsy to mark the moment the transmitter launched bringing local services on DAB digital radio to 74,000 listeners in the region.

Listeners in Scunthorpe can now receive 11 services on DAB digital radio – BBC Radio Humberside, Capital Yorkshire, Viking FM, Viking 2 and Viking 3, Smooth, Absolute Classic Rock, Absolute 90s, Gold, Kiss Fresh and Magic Soul.  Scunthorpe United supporters will also be able to listen to BBC Radio Humberside’s live commentary on some games on DAB digital radio.

Listener Meg Smith said: “I love my digital radio but I’ve missed having local stations like BBC Radio Humberside on it until now. I’m delighted to press the big green switch this morning with Burnsy bringing such a brilliant collection of stations to so many listeners in Scunthorpe.”

The Scunthorpe transmitter is the final of five new transmitters which have been built to expand and boost local DAB digital coverage for over 220,000 listeners in Northern Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire, taking local DAB digital radio coverage up to 98% of households.

Martyn Weston, Managing Editor, BBC Radio Humberside, said: “We had such a great response from listeners last month when we switched on the first four transmitters, and we’re delighted that listeners in Scunthorpe can now hear us on DAB digital radio and thank Meg for marking the occasion for us.”

The five new Northern Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire transmitters have been built by communications infrastructure company Arqiva, are part of an industry and Government programme of work expanding the coverage and listening to DAB digital radio. Government, BBC and commercial radio are near completion of a further 182 local DAB transmitters to extend local DAB coverage to more than 91% of the population bringing eight million listeners across the UK into coverage and adding over 4,160 miles of roads.

Dee Ford, Group Managing Director Radio Bauer Media said: “Commercial radio is thriving in the UK as listeners explore new radio stations brought about by DAB. Bauer is the leading digital commercial radio operator and we are thrilled to bring listeners in Scunthorpe three fantastic stations in KISS Fresh, Absolute Radio 90s and Absolute Classic Rock. These stations will sit alongside our much-loved award-winning local stations Viking 1,2 and 3.”

Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK, said: “Scunthorpe has a great variety of local digital stations so it’s great news that over 75,000 more listeners will now be able to enjoy all their favourite local stations on DAB digital radio for the first time.”

Richard Johnston, Head of Commercial Radio, Arqiva, said: “I am delighted that the local DAB coverage expansion programme is continuing with Scunthorpe being the latest area to receive a digital boost. We’re proud of our role in expanding local DAB coverage as we continue working towards commercial radio FM coverage equivalence by the end of the year.”