The Belmont transmitting station is a broadcasting and telecommunications facility next to the B1225, one mile west of the village of Donington on Bain in the civil parish of South Willingham, near Market Rasen and Louth in Lincolnshire, England (grid reference TF217837). It is owned and operated by Arqiva.
It has a guyed tubular steel mast, with a lattice upper section. The mast was shortened in April 2010 and is now 1,154 feet (351.7 m) in height. Before this it was 1,272 feet (387.7 m) high and was considered to be the tallest structure of its kind in the world (taller masts, such as the KVLY-TV mast in the United States, use steel lattice construction), the tallest structure of any type in the United Kingdom and also the tallest structure within the European Union. After the top section was removed, the mast's reduced height relegated it to 14th-highest structure in the EU and second-highest in the UK after Skelton. The current world's tallest guyed tubular steel mast is TV Tower Vinnytsia in Ukraine.
Despite the mast being shortened it can be seen in daylight on clear days from most areas close to and within the Lincolnshire Wolds. On clear nights its bright red aircraft warning lights can be very widely seen across much of Lincolnshire from as far north as the River Humber and Barton-Upon-Humber; from the west of the county it can be seen from Lincoln, Gainsborough and Grantham; from the south of the county it can be seen from Spalding and Bourne; and from the east it can be seen from Skegness, Mablethorpe and most areas along the Lincolnshire coast. The lights can also be seen from many parts of Nottinghamshire, coastal areas of North West Norfolk and even a few parts of Derbyshire on very clear nights.
- Mast height- 1,154 feet (351.7 m).
- Coordinates- 53.335861°N 0.172°W.
- Grid reference- TF217837.
- Built 1965- (height increased in 1967).
- BBC region-
- BBC Yorkshire (1965–2004).
- BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (2004–present).
- ITV region-
- ITV Anglia (1965–74).
- ITV Yorkshire (1974–present).
- Local TV service- Estuary TV and That's Lincolnshire.
The BBC's services came online on both VHF and UHF. BBC 1 was initially fed by means of an off-air rebroadcast of Holme Moss but this was plagued by co-channel interference from the continent. BBC2 was an off-air rebroadcast from Emley Moor. On 19 March 1969, the Emley Moor mast collapsed, taking Belmont's BBC2 transmissions off-air for several days.
Despite the programme sources on VHF and UHF being (for many years) off-air rebroadcasts of other transmitters in the vicinity, Belmont was always regarded by the BBC as being a "main station" both on VHF and UHF. The IBA initially regarded it as a relay of Mendlesham (and numbered it 14.2 in their numbering of VHF stations) but from 1974 it became a "main station" for Yorkshire Television (renumbered as 20.0 in the IBA's numbering of VHF stations).
After changes to the regional structure of ITV in 1972, Belmont stopped being a relay of Mendlesham and controversially became a main station for Yorkshire TV, despite covering large parts of Lincolnshire.
It was accused in the late 1970s of carrying secret government radio messages at or near to 525KHz, 100.5 MHz and 1,255MHz. his was denied at the time.
It was rumored in the late 1970s that it was some how connected to either the Wartime Broadcasting Service and\or the HANDEL National Attack Warning System. The prior was possible, but the latter was not, as far as anyone can ascertain.
Belmont started transmitting the UK's final terrestrial analogue UHF TV service: Channel 5. This was done well out-of-band and at reduced power compared with the main group.
Belmont began transmitting digital TV, with the new digital muliplexes well spaced away from the existing analogue channels. In July 2007 it was confirmed by Ofcom that Belmont would be remaining a wideband transmitter after digital switchover, though the first four of the six multiplexes would still be available within the original A group.
BBC Two closed on UHF 28. BBC One was moved on to that channel for its final three weeks of service. Pre-DSO Multiplex 1 (BBC) on UHF 30 was closed and was replaced by BBC A on UHF 22.
All the remaining analogue and existing digital signals were turned off and replaced with higher-power digital signals.
Arqiva A and Arqiva B were limited to 4 kW until 23 November 2011, when they were increased to 100 kW.
Local TV, carrying Estuary TV, and Arqiva C, carrying additional HD services, launched on 26 November 2013.
Current transmission services
|Frequency MHz.||Frequency Block.||kW.||Operator.|
|100.5 MHz?||.||10?||Rumored in the 1990s to be reserved for emergency use and may still be, if it ever was.|
|N\A||.||N\A, but probably low.||Estuary TV.|
|N\A||.||N\A, but probably low.||That's Lincolnshire.|
|215.072 MHz||10A||N\A||MuxCo Lincolnshire|
|216.928 MHz||N\A||11A||Sound Digital|
|222.064 MHz||11D||5||Digital One|
|225.648 MHz||12B||5||BBC National|
|88.8 MHz||.||8||BBC Radio 2|
|90.9 MHz||.||8||BBC Radio 3|
|93.1 MHz||.||8||BBC Radio 4|
|94.9 MHz||.||3||BBC Radio Lincolnshire|
|98.3 MHz||.||8||BBC Radio 1|
|100.5 MHz||.||3.1||Classic FM|
|102.2 MHz||.||3.2||Lincs FM|
|482.000 MHz||22||150||BBC A DVB-T|
|506.000 MHz||25||150||Digital 3&4 DVB-T|
|522.000 MHz||27||5||Local TV DVB-T|
|530.000 MHz||28||150||BBC B DVB-T2|
|545.833 MHz||30||50||SDN DVB-T|
|570.000 MHz||33||37.1||Arqiva C DVB-T2|
|586.000 MHz||35||40.9||Arqiva D DVB-T2|
|730.000 MHz||53||100||Arqiva A DVB-T|
|786.000 MHz||60||100||Arqiva B DVB-T|
The mast was constructed in 1965 and it came into service on 20 December of that year. As built it was a tubular pipe 900 feet (274.3 m) long by 9 feet (2.7 m) in diameter, surmounted by a 365 feet (111.3 m) lattice upper section. (An identical mast was constructed in 1964 at Emley Moor near Huddersfield in Yorkshire, but that mast collapsed due to guy failure caused by icing and high winds on 19 March 1969.)
In September 1967 meteorological equipment was added to the 1,265 feet (385.6 m) mast extending its height to 1,272 feet (387.7 m). The imperial measurement was the accepted value quoted by a number of publications, including the 1993 edition of the Guinness Book of Records. The metric measurement quoted by the current owners is 0.2 m (8 in) shorter.
Between October 2009 and April 2010 the mast was shortened as part of the Digital Switchover works, most of the top section above the fifth stay level was removed (along with the sixth stay level) and the mast now stands 1,154 feet (351.7 m) high.
From its location, high in the Lincolnshire Wolds, it broadcasts digital television and both analogue and digital radio to Lincolnshire, eastern Yorkshire, northern parts of Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. When it was first operated it transmitted (amongst others) ITV station Anglia Television. Following a controversial re-organisation of ITV coverage in 1972, from 1974 it started transmitting neighbouring station Yorkshire Television instead, which it continues to do to this day. Belmont has few relay stations, most of the region being flat. There is a main relay station at Oliver's Mount covering the Scarborough area.
At 500 kW E.R.P. for the four main analogue channels, Belmont was one of the most powerful transmitters in the UK, though there are four UK transmitters which were more powerful; Sutton Coldfield, Crystal Palace and Sandy Heath were all at 1000 kW and Emley Moor was 870 kW. Channel 5 was only broadcast at 50 kW from Belmont and digital at 20 kW (Mux 2), 10 kW (Mux 1, A, B) and 4 kW (Mux C, D) although this level of digital power is theoretically equal to 500 kW on analogue in terms of the received carrier to noise ratio required to give a "perfect" picture. After digital switchover Belmont's digital transmitting power rose to 50 kW for SDN (previously Mux A), 100 kW for Arqiva A & B (Mux C, D) and 150 kW for BBC A, D3&4 and BBC B (Mux 1, 2, B).
- http://www.skyscraperpage.com/diagrams/?b533 .