Further update on the Bilsdale mast fire.

Arqiva now assesses that the majority of homes affected by the loss of coverage, more than 400,000, have now had their TV services restored, and FM radio and Digital Radio have also returned to most households.

Arqiva’s teams are working round the clock, alongside partners, to return services to normal for people across the area as quickly as possible. Arqiva fully recognises that, for those who remain affected, this is a frustrating time as services have not been restored as quickly as hoped and Arqiva apologises for this.

The remaining stages of the recovery plan require access to the original mast site to deliver materials, build and commission the temporary 80-metre mast which would expand TV services to the vast majority of households. The legal process to secure appropriate access to the site to build the temporary mast is taking longer than initially anticipated and as a result it will not be operational by this weekend as was hoped.

Arqiva is making representations to the court as to the severity and the urgency of the situation. Arqiva is also continuing to speak to the site landowner to see if an access agreement can be reached whilst the application is being processed. Arqiva wishes it to be known that it is doing everything possible to move this forward as quickly as possible.

Freeview has also commented on the latest situation:

We share in our viewers’ disappointment that the new temporary mast at Bilsdale has been delayed, particularly at such short notice. However, we have faith that Arqiva is doing everything in its power to reach a new access agreement with the landowner. We will continue to keep viewers up to date with the latest information and guidance via our website and social channels.”

The latest information on the situation can be found on Arqiva’s website and further advice is also available from Freeview at: https://www.freeview.co.uk/bilsdale-transmitter. Should you require any further detail on this update, we encourage you to get in contact with the team at Press.Office@arqiva.com and arqiva@fticonsulting.com.