HC Deb 20 May 1960 vol 623 cc149-50W
Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is now able to make a statement about stage 2 of the British Broadcasting Corporation's plans for improving and extending its television and very high frequency sound coverage.

Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the authorisation of expenditure by the British Broadcasting Corporation for the money necessary to provide television and very high frequency broadcasting service in the Western Isles.

Mr. Bevins

Yes, I have now given my approval in principle to proposals made by the B.B.C.—

  1. 1. to build low power satellite television and V.H.F. sound stations in the following areas:
    • Forfar
    • Grantown-on-Spey
    • Lewis
    • Pitlochry/Aberfeldy
    • Shetland
    • Skye
  2. 2. to build other satellite television stations in the following areas:
    • Caernarvon
    • Hastings
    • Scarborough
    • Swindon
  3. 3. to build satellite V.H.F. sound stations in:
    • East Lincolnshire
    • Enniskillen
    • Pembroke/Milford Haven
    • Sheffield
    • South-West Scotland

Enniskillen, Pembroke and Sheffield are due to have satellite television stations under stage 1 of the B.B.C's scheme. All the V.H.F. sound stations will put out the Home Service and the Light and Third Programmes.

These ten television stations and eleven V.H.F. sound stations represent the second stage in the B.B.C.'s plans for improving and extending its coverage. They will bring B.B.C. television to more than 100,000 new viewers and will improve reception for 400,000 more. Three hundred and fifty thousand people will get the V.H.F. sound service for the first time. It is hoped to complete these twenty-one stations by March, 1964.

The B.B.C. assures me that these further plans now announced do not mean any delay to the completion of the twenty-four satellite stations in stage 1 announced in the House on 24th June. 1959. These are due for completion by March, 1962. In addition, the B.B.C. informs me that, in planning stage 3, it has in mind the possibility of installing a new type of very low power "translator" station to bring its television and V.H.F. sound services to towns not at present served and to improve the service in towns where reception is now unsatisfactory. The television satellite station for Hastings is to be an experimental installation of this type.