Final steel work completed on new 300 metre Bilsdale mast

The new Bilsdale mast.

Work to build the new Bilsdale mast has reached a major milestone the final piece of steel work now installed.

At around 300 metres, the new mast is already one of the highest structures in the UK.

Work is now beginning to add broadcast equipment, which will allow the temporary system of interim masts and relay stations to be powered down.

Arqiva, the owners and operators of Bilsdale mast, says it is on track to complete the necessary installation before the end of spring 2023.

The company said that replacing the old Bilsdale mast, which was damaged by fire in 2021, was one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the UK, with up to 100 people on-site working to deliver the project in half of the typical timeframe for a development of such scale, in such a remote location.

Adrian Twyning, chief of operations at Arqiva, said: “The team continues to work tirelessly, including overnight in the equipment rooms, to restore the full-sized mast as quickly as possible.

“As many will have seen from recent pictures, the structure itself is very near its full height. Once complete, we need to install the antenna at the top and the feeders – which take the content up the tower to the antenna – then we will test the transmitters before go-live.

“We will continue to update as work progresses.

“The location of the site and the structure means that work is heavily dependent on the conditions.

“At around 300m, safety is paramount and for those reasons work cannot take place if it cannot be seen from the ground because of fog or low cloud, if ice is present or if the wind speed is too high.

“Under normal circumstances you wouldn’t choose to build a tall structure like this during the winter months, but we are committed to restoring services as soon as we can.

“We thank everybody for their patience and are sorry for any ongoing disruption.”

1 Comment

  1. According to the Met Office website spring ends on Wednesday, 21 June 2023. Let’s see what happens.

    It’s a shame that this team did not have a comms manager.

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