Bilsdale Transmitter: Three phase return to service planned, timeline expected today

13 August 2021

Arqiva have said that they have now planned a three-stage recovery of all services from Bilsdale Transmitter.

Our engineers continue to work tirelessly on our three-stage recovery plan to reinstate all services that were present on the Bilsdale mast.

  • Phase 1 involved establishing a service for some people as soon as possible
  • Phase 2 involves improving that coverage either by increasing power or using temporary sites
  • Phase three is the restoration of an equivalent service

See Bilsdale Transmitter – phase 2 will be to erect a temporary 80metre mast within 2 weeks — Harrogate Informer ( for update 13 August 2021 at 18:15

Some viewers who received their TV signals directly from the Bilsdale had their TV services restored using our site at Eston Nabon 11 August, serving 1100 homes.

A spokesperson fo Arqiva said:

As of this evening (12  August), we have also been able to add channels on another multiplex meaning more channels are now available in those areas. To enable this, we have built a temporary tower at Eston Nab, added antenna and feeders, wired electrics and configured the antenna.

We have also been able to restore services from the two largest relays of Bilsdale, at Whitby and Guisborough – which each serve tens of thousands of households and we have also restored radio services in some areas.

While we understand the frustration of those in areas that are not yet restored, we would like to assure you that we are doing all we can to restore services as fast as we can. Bilsdale is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and to replicate what is there is not a simple task.

Phase 2 will see the vast majority of TV coverage restored from temporary masts at Bilsdale and we expect to be able to give a firm timeline on that phase on 13 August 2021.


  1. Why is county Durham not mentioned in the disruption.. I have had no tv reception since 1.30 Tuesday..

    • I’m from Darlington live alone the only enjoyment I have is watching tv not once mentioned Darlington only Yorkshire

      • I’m like you Andy plus been so poorly for three weeks and my only bit of pleasure. Sickening isn’t it? I have seen Darlington mentioned a few times but not seen Northallerton or anywhere around here😰

  2. Thankyou Harrogate Informer… You seem to be the only source of information on this matter other than the once a day updates we seem to be getting via email. Still no sign of TV reception in Stockton either.

    • We live in Stockton-on-Tees and have full coverage from our aerial, we just returned the TV to pick up the signal from Eston.

      • I’m Stockton but being in a flat with Ariel that serves the whole block it can be moved only by housing association and they won’t do it so I’ve got nothing as can’t afford nothing else

        • I live in a flat near Riverside College. I’ve had no signal since Tuesday. I can’t pick up Eston. Ariel is poor at the best of times and needs a booster. I can’t see this improving any time in the near future. Tempered to cancel TV Licence.

    • I pay the ripoff bbc (which I never watch) a massive fee to provide a service. I pay by monthly direct debit. They are not providing the service so I will cancel my dd until they restore what I am paying for. I suggest everyone effected do the same

      • The BBC is not responsible for the Transmitters. It is inconvenient but why do you expect compensation? You need to be better informed instead of immediately expecting recompense.

  3. Northallerton doesn’t get a mention either I’ve also had no TV since Tuesday I would love to change have sky but in the real world no one gives a thought about the elderly

    • Hi my dad in middlesbrough has been without TV since tue . But some people in middlesbrough have got it back on my dad can’t understand why he hasn’t got it back. He is 89 and tv is his only comfort

      • False deduction. The BBC get the licence fee, the private owners of the transmitter have to pay for repairs.

    • I’ve also been down since Tuesday I’m elderly and live alone and do not have any of the appliances that will enable me to watch any station

      • It’s awful isn’t it. But surely if you’re able to be reading this article online, you have an internet service. Why don’t you get the bbc iPlayer app, itv hub and other tv apps to watch on your phone or iPad (or a tablet) I’m lucky to have an Amazon fire stick, so get them all on that

        • I’m reading this on my phone how is that meant to work my tv when I only have an old Freeview box because I’m not rich

          • The point is, if you have access to the internet on your phone, you should be able to watc h iPlayer on it. You need to download the iPlayer app. It’s really nothing to do with being rich! Or not.

  4. The wife is away just wanted to watch babe station looks like I wasted my money buy lube and tissues

    • Ppl can’t afford to just go out and buy things like this I’ve got a Freeview box and I can’t afford anything else

      • if you’ve got a freebie box you can use the iplayer function to watch bbc,itv channels and also 4 and 5’s

        • Not if you have a Sony “smart” (not!) TV you can’t – Sony have never allowed the ITV hub app, nor the apps for c4 & c5 due to some stupid spat of an android v apple type.

          Nor has BBC iPlayer been available on Sony TVs more than about 4 years old since spring this year – no longer supported by the beeb. Disgraceful.

  5. The strain this fire has caused on mental health services in the north east is was immense due to lockdown, now it’s beyond breaking point. Socially isolated and lonely people are suffering badly and attempted suicides have been reported because of this fire. The owners of the tower need to make a decision, fix it quick and save a life, or take it slow and push someone over the edge. Thanks Arqiva, are sprinklers really that expensive that it’s cheaper to put people at risk or save money.

    • I know my job doesn’t have many hrs as ppl still aren’t coming out as much in the pubs so I’m hardly working I only moved up here in November and I only have my son up here I can’t afford to get things like WiFi smart TVs extra so my tv was something I enjoyed to see the news and just to take my mind off things now I’m feeling so depressed and want to cry all the time and I’m wishing that they should of had some kind of back up for this kind of thing happening in this day and age it’s a joke

    • sprinklers need a tank above for the feed, where the hell are they going to put that on the bloody moon

      • They wouldn’t use sprinklers in any case around electronics. A system using Halon gas or some other gas to put out the fire in the building below the mast.

    • “Attempted suicides have been reported because of this fire”……oh please, I can’t read anymore of these reports of woah and self pity. Get over it you can’t watch TV for a couple of weeks, are your lives really that shallow that you can’t live without the damn thing for a few days….if you can’t leave your home then read a book or something. Also to a few who are constantly going on about ” I can’t afford this or that” well so what has that got to do with anything?

      • Totally agree. Go to the library. The tv is not the only entertainment in life. There’s much to be said for reading a book. Far too much whinging I feel. It’ll be back on at some point, it’s not forever!

  6. Very few channels her in Strensall, and what few we have, all sound like Norman Collier and constant crackling.

  7. I’ve turned my aerial to face towards Pontop Pike and got everything back. Might be worth looking at if you live north of Richmond. If you go on it will give you a map showing the direction to point the aerial.
    If you do this PLEASE be careful.

  8. Guisborough / Whitby area. As of 4pm Friday 13th Aug NO signals found in TV search in spite of claim service RESTORED in those areas. Realize its a big and difficult job but a definite and reliable time line would be appreciatedserv

  9. Guisborough / Whitby area. As of 4pm Friday 13th Aug NO signals found in TV search in spite of claim service RESTORED in those areas. Realize its a big and difficult job but a definite and reliable time line would be appreciated

  10. No mention of Sunderland in any of the articles that I’ve read about Bilsdale. We’re still waiting patiently…………….

  11. Yes well done to use for informing us, the rest of the media has been an absolute disgrace including the BBC, it could have quite easily text everybody, it knows how to get in touch when I’m £3 short of me licence, I was always well serviced when I lived in crook 😁

  12. we all know the fire at the bilsdale transmitter was no one fault and as I’m sure the company are working hard to get service up but here in hartlepool 72 hours after 13/8/21 @ 4.45pm) we still have nothing please this be oasted on to the company because all I keep seeing is that some service are resumes but here

  13. Still nothing in the Darlington area. Please be aware of scammers too as they rang my mother and told her it was due to the aerial being old so needed a new one installed otherwise she wouldn’t be able to watch TV. A letter from the Transmitters owners to the elderly explaining what was happening would have been nice as my mother not having Internet new nothing about the fire as she couldn’t simply check online.

  14. Fancy not having any back up plan are they totally inept. 4 days now and still no regular progress reports went off in Kirklevington TS159NQ

  15. Newton Aycliffe has had no TV since the fire struck and it never gets a mention either. They keep saying reception is being re-connected to thousands of homes but reading through this list very few would seem to have been connected so I think, as usual, we are being fed a load of lies to try and keep us quiet, or perhaps they have finally realised that most of their programs aren’t worth watching but don’t want to admit it.

  16. Cancel it simple it’s so easy took me 2mins online …they even said hope to get you back..
    No strings

  17. The BBC don’t own or operate the transmitters and this problem is nothing to do with them. Arqiva own and operate the transmitters and, as far as I know, the licence fee does not fund transmitter operation or repairs. The BBC isn’t perfect but this isn’t their problem.

  18. No TV here on the outskirts of Whitby since Tuesday. My holiday cottage guests have had to learn to talk to each, as will the next guests due tomorrow. Lol

  19. No TV here on the outskirts of Whitby since Tuesday. My holiday cottage guests have had to learn to talk to each other, as will the next guests due tomorrow. Lol

  20. Why isn’t sunderland tyne and Wear bn mentioned. I agree it’s all about Yorkshire or surrounding areas

  21. I’ve got some channels back in Middlesbrough but my father has a set top box and no channels coming through at all

  22. My next door neighbour is 97 and housebound and on permanent oxygen. His TV is his only pleasure and has had no TV since Tuesday. Still no timeline for resumption of TV signal. Really difficult to get updates from any of the TV stations. TS7 Middlesbrough area.

  23. Nothing here in Hartlepool since 1.30 10 Aug. Turned TV today and there is a random 38 channels all of which when clicked say “programme not tuned”. Retuning doesn’t work so back to square one.

  24. Still no service here in Seaham Co Durham and no communication from any agency regarding timescales. Fortunately i can access BBC i player but it appears that the fire at the transmitter is now yesterdays news -disgraceful!!.

  25. Transmitter always been a problem we can send people to the moon
    Surely we can have more transmitter built ???
    One good thing Gary the walkers crisp man and football smug cronies
    Overpaid pundits are not on tv

  26. Nothing here in Rillington near Malton either. Been off since Tuesday, its getting beyond a joke now!

  27. Would be helpful if resumption of service is notified ASAP also daily updates to be put on Facebook DL area

  28. Nothing yet in TS20.
    I get freeview through BT but that’s not working.
    We pay a lot of money each month but can now only watch catch up tv.
    BT say it’s not their fault.

  29. My parent are old in their eighties and have no internet of fancy gear. They rely on simple channels for a bit of enjoyment and now this has been taken away from them thus, being made to pay for a TV license at their age too. What a disgrace telling people to watch iplayer etc. Who is looking after our eldery now? … When can we have some restoration please ?

  30. I still find it hard to believe that a company that has the control over 1m peoples services are not putting out updates every few hours instead of every few days. Any other company would be talking to it’s customers. (Well most of them would)

  31. No reception in the Yorkshire dales, we have a small hotel, and having to tell guests no telly, not good !

  32. I live just outside thirsk, my TV went off on Tuesday like every one else.. I just went onto the first time installation thing and reset the channels, its working fine now

  33. I’m in roseworth and have nothing, luckily I’ve got books to read lol! It’s not the end of the world just be patient and they’ll get it sorted as soon as they physically can, I do agree should be putting updates

  34. They can spend £50 million on French Border control but nothing on basic infrastructure
    Why was there .not a back up
    UK was the leaders at one stage in Telecommunications now we are a embarrassment
    This been China or Japan they would have thrown every resource at it and it would have been up in a few days

  35. Will we be refund money of our TV license. Especially as we have no service . We live in Bedale & still are without

  36. Nothing here in Huntington either on Bilsdale since Tuesday,
    Tried getting Signal from Yorkshire instead but the picture is atrocious and keeps cutting out.

  37. We are in Swainby no tele since Tuesday can almost see the mast from where we are like other people would like good updates on the situation we are elderly and don’t have fancy gear

  38. Why are people whining it was the weather which caused it, nobody is at fault and people are working on it to get services up and running ASAP, get a job and you won’t have so much time to watch TV

  39. Nothing here either on coast just north of sand send lythe get updates saying service should come back online but nothing message on tv no channels available

  40. When your licence [TAX] comes up for renewal dekay it by the number of days you were without a service.See if the BBC is willing to take you and thousands of others to court!

  41. No TV here at DL15 and agree Co Durham not really mentioned, hope we don’t get overlooked! From the comments I don’t think most of the service have been restored and it’s the14th.

  42. No mention of Scarborough or Filey and surrounding districts. Expect this area will be the last to be reconnected. Quite a lot of elderly people live in this area and rely on the tv for the news etc.

  43. My Mum is 84, lives in a rural village near Richmond, she has no fancy Netflix or Amazon sticks or a laptop, relies on TV for company, she is really struggling!

  44. It is absolutely shocking they was not some sort of backup system not everyone can afford sky etc it’s a disgrace

  45. Nothing here in Harrogate (near Morrisons) when I checked yesterday. No point getting my aerial pointed to Emley Moor as I don’t have a decent line of sight. The Freeview website is suggesting that 28/08/21 is the target date for restoration of services using a temporary mast, but my guess is that reception will still be iffy due to reduced power.

    In 2021, why do we still have these single points of failure? Given the importance of TV to so many, to not have a backup facility seems extremely poor, to say the least. Still, here in the UK it’s always a case of doing the absolute minimum, rather than going the extra mile and doing a decent job …

    • Nothing at the bottom of Otley Road – my 91 year old mother is really struggling without the TV to keep her company in the evenings particularly. She is reading but it’s really not the same and she’s had no ‘official’ notification of what’s happening – she’d be in a dreadful state if she didn’t have younger family to keep her informed and reassured.

  46. In Harrogate/Knaresborough you could always try pointing towards the Heyshaw (Pateley Bridge) transmitter to see if it picks up YTV.

  47. We keep getting told that we can catch up on iplayer, ITV hub etc, a lot of elderly people wont have access to these services because they wont have the internet, TV is a lifeline to some pensioners

  48. I live in Linthorpe Middlesbrough. The roof aerial faces south towards Bilsdale mast. No signal since 10th August. I’ve retuned TV hoping to pick up the Eston signal but no joy. I already had an indoor aerial stuck to a north facing upstairs window and I can get most Freeview channels on the bedroom TV. Presumably the indoor aerial is picking up signal from Pontop Pike aerial. I bought that aerial from Amazon and it cost about £11.

  49. why no plan B to cover such a problem involving millions of households in this day and age? Compensation needed.

  50. The national press and media remain largely silent about this prolonged disruption. Because it’s only ‘up north’ ? If it were affecting homes in London and the Home Counties headlines would scream, parliament would be recalled and Boris would be chairing an emergency meeting of COBRA.

  51. I have contacted BBCthey say they are not responsible for transmissions and there is no chance of any compensation so what does the the second B stand for?

    • Therefore, If we cannot access their services then why do we pay a license fee? Rhetorical question…with regards to the second B, suggestions on a postcard!

  52. What a fantastic opportunity to read a book or two, or three! If you like detective fiction, you cannot do better than immerse yourself in the DCI Banks series by Peter Robinson – so far there are 27 of them to go at, each one absolutely unputdownable! Give them a try! You won’t regret it. And, no, I am not related to Peter Robinson nor am I his agent, in case you were wondering!

  53. I’m amazed at some of the comments here. Is it beyond them to run the auto-tune set-up on their TV? Mine just re-tuned to the next best signal. Easy, most channels restored. Don’t tell me that they’re still watching on an old CRT telly either.

    • Stephen, you are a font of wisdom to us much less intelligent beings. My logie Baird b&w doesn’t seem to be getting a picture despite retune. It is a real pity your not at Bilsdale rectifying the problem on our behalf!

      Ps. No signal, no retune!

    • Stepen,
      In the current situation, the options are: Pontop Pike or Emley Moor transmitters. If you are not on the fringe reception areas of these and your aerial is not pointing towards them – no amount of re-tuning will get a result. The only permanent solution for people out of range of these is a Freesat dish and receiver.

  54. There are a lot of people who have tried retuning their tvs and have had no luck, even dab radios are off and yes we have tried retuning those too. There are some lucky people who have been able to retune with some success, there are even some local to me who have had success but a lot of others who haven’t

  55. these should be some improve now on the ariels i know that you have got a lot of work to do it is a big thing that it need to be sort out in the area.

  56. I realise that the engineers have got a big job to do at Bilsdale but if this had happened to the Crystal Palace transmitter in London then TV services would have been reinstated in no time!!!!

  57. Exactly Caroline. We have to appreciate our position here which is ‘Up North and of No Importance’. Nevertheless, wouldn’t it be cool if someone had the decency to just keep us updated.

  58. A spokesperson for Arqiva said:
    The remaining stages of our 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 we initially anticipated and as a result it will not be operational by this weekend as we’d hoped.

    We are making representations to the court as to the severity and the urgency of the situation but we are in the hands of the judicial system currently. We continue to speak to the landowner to see if we can reach an access agreement whilst the application is being processed. We are doing everything we can to move this forward as quickly as possible and are seeking the assistance of everybody involved to accelerate the process.

    A spokesman for somebody who can’t watch the classic episode of Laurel and Hardy “County Hospital”

    Old fart of a landowner who does not give a fig, by the sound of it.

    “Hard boiled eggs and nuts” LOL :)

  59. I cannot believe there is no right of access. How was the mast built and since maintained? Do the engineers fly in by helicopter? Landowner won’t give us access! Best excuse I’ve heard for a while!

  60. Can we have the address of the landowner refrusing access?? How mean and selfish can anyone be? Al quiva or whatever they call themselves should be fined and sacked.As though we haven’t had enough to cope with the virus ,now no TV for such a long time.As already said if this happened in or anywhere near London it would be on National news every day.Please please more updates and some hope.83 year old!!!

  61. I live between Harrogate and Ripon, postcode HG3 3PQ and have been without any channels on my TV since the beginning of the month. About 4 weeks now. The lack of action, updates and communication is appalling.

  62. Perhaps whilst there is no coverage, people could read a few books and then maybe, just maybe, they would learn that there is only one ‘e’ in AERIAL no ‘s’ in LICENCE!

  63. We’re told there are three phases and phases 1 and 2 are explained but phase three (the restoration of an equivalent service) isn’t mentioned again.

    Reminds me of the Limerick…

    There was a young man from Peru
    Whose Limericks stopped at line two…

    When is ‘the restoration of an equivalent service’ going to be completed?

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