Listeners to digital radio in Leicestershire are set to benefit from expanded DAB coverage in the county.
Four new transmitters have been switched on, increasing coverage from 63% of households to 82% across the county. Around 250,000 people have been brought into DAB coverage.
The four new transmitters are in Coalville, Leicester, Loughborough and Melton Mowbray. Until last year the county was covered by the two original transmitters, switched on in Leicester in 2002.
“Gem is very much a part of the Leicestershire community and I get to enjoy that when on-air playing them music they love and getting them home with a smile each weekday,” said Cat James, the drivetime presenter at Gem 106.
“To allow the people of Leicestershire to be able to hear a variety of music they won’t get anywhere else in lovely, clear brilliant, digital audio is the very least this great audience deserve.”
Listeners in the county will benefit from expanded coverage of Gem 106, as well as BBC Radio Leicester, Capital East Midlands, Heart East Midlands, Smooth East Midlands, Gold, Chill, LRB Digital, Sabras and Sanskar Radio. Some DAB radio owners will receive the stations for the first time.
Ford Ennals, the CEO of Digital Radio UK, says the switch on marks a transformation of the coverage of local stations in the county.
“It’s great news that a further 250,000 listeners across Leicestershire will now be able to hear these much-loved stations, which play such an important role in serving the local community, on digital radio.”
The four new transmitters in Leicestershire are co-funded by Government, the BBC and the commercial operators of digital radio multiplexes. A programme of work to expand coverage of local DAB stations to 90% of UK households is expected to be complete this summer. This will bring coverage inline with local commercial radio’s FM coverage.
Areas including Cornwall, Wolverhampton and Shropshire have also seen their DAB coverage improve this year. More than 200 local DAB transmitters have been built across the country.
The switch-on was marked with a special event at a local primary school.
Listeners in the area are encouraged to re-tune or rescan their DAB radios to ensure they are receiving all the available digital stations.