West Norfolk to get new DAB radio stations
A major shake-up of radio is on the way to West Norfolk after the awarding of a licence to broadcast many more stations on DAB to the area.
The broadcasting regulator Ofcom has given the long-awaited task of improving digital radio in West Norfolk to operators North Norfolk Digital.
It has been given the licence for a 'small-scale DAB multiplex' which will considerably boost the number of stations broadcast here from its present level of just 19.
The multiplex is the platform on which stations pay to have their output broadcast.
Local internet stations KL-1 and Radio West Norfolk has confirmed it is going on to the platform when it is expected to begin broadcasting from late October or early November.
BBC Radio Norfolk and Greatest Hits Radio are also expected to be available digitally for the first time.
North Norfolk Digital - no relation to the fictional home of Steve Coogan's comedy alter ego Alan Partridge - is a joint project between Cambridge Digital Radio (CDR) is a group including directors representing the commercial radio station Star Radio, the community licensee Cambridge 105 Radio and broadcast transmission specialists Bancom Communications.
Industry website Radio Today has reported that the multiplex will initially use two transmitter sites to ensure coverage throughout Lynn and surrounding villages.
It quoted Steve Potter, director of NND, as saying; ”Having successfully run the Cambridge small-scale DAB trial for a number of years we are delighted to have been awarded the full-time licence for King’s Lynn.
"With an experienced team of SSDAB (small-scale DAB) operators from both the community and commercial sectors, along with an exciting launch list of service providers, we look forward to providing a new broadcast service to the people of King’s Lynn.”
Richard Dix, of KL-1, said the launch of the service using transmitters in Gayton and Lynn, should be transformative for radio locally.
He said: "We have been pleased with our amount of unique users but what we have not had is people listening in on their car radios and this should change that."
Simon Rowe, of Radio West Norfolk agreed that the main boost would in in-car listenership.
"It will make an absolute difference, it will be that much easier to listen to.
He said the station had enjoyed a "massive response" in the year it had been on air but he couldn't wait to get up on DAB.
Adam Newstead, of senior executive producer at Greatest Hits Radio in Lynn, said: "Yes, I am delighted to confirm we are planning to expand our presence across King’s Lynn by putting Greatest Hits Radio – which, of course, is already available on 96.7FM across West Norfolk – on the new local DAB multiplex. In fact, we began our discussions with the mux operator as part of their license bid, so we are very much looking forward to launching on the platform."