Belfast and Lisburn DAB

Digital Radio service provider for a range of stations including small scale and community broadcasters.

About Belfast and Lisburn DAB

Belfast DAB Plus Ltd was registered at Companies House in August 2018, with the intention of preparing an application for the Belfast & Lisburn Small-scale DAB Multiplex Licence, which has now been submitted to Ofcom. You can read the application here [pdf file].

We first focused on choosing transmission sites to bring a robust signal to the 355,000-strong adult population in the area, and these will be at Squires Hill to provide coverage into Belfast, and at White Mountain for Lisburn.

From the outset we’ve had an ongoing dialogue with potential Programme Service Providers, and have attracted the support of a range of Community and Commercial stations offering a diverse choice of listening.

In January 2021 a services agreement was signed with Niocast Digital, who have experience in successfully running the trial DAB multiplex in Manchester and have been awarded the DAB licences for Cardiff and Edinburgh. This partnership has brought additional knowledge and expertise to our group.

Belfast DAB Plus Ltd will be operating on a not-for-profit basis; all income will be invested in the company and its activities. It is our intention, if successful, to launch a cost-effective means for Programme Service Providers to reach their audiences and to act collectively for the benefit of all broadcasters on the multiplex.

What is DAB?

DAB stands for ‘Digital Audio Broadcasting’. It is recognised as being the way to broadcast and listen to radio now and into the future. It already offers exciting opportunities for broadcasters and a dramatic increase in listener choice.

In Belfast and Lisburn, we are planning to provide a whole new way for community and other broadcasters to offer existing and new audiences high quality listening and a wider range of programmes to suit all interests; speech, music, debate and participation. With capacity for up to 25 stations on the multiplex it is a simple way for new broadcasters to get going. 

In addition to broadcasting programmes, a DAB radio station can include information such as the name of the station and the song that’s currently playing and other text messages that scroll along the radio receiver’s display. DAB signals are also better able to work around obstacles between your radio and the transmitter, like large buildings, and they carry their own protection against transmission errors.

Radio is part of the digital age and DAB is how radio is increasingly heard. Listeners are already used to finding their favourite and new stations on DAB at home and in the car.

Radio continues to be popular in Northern Ireland: 84% of adults in Q1 2021 said they had listened to the radio in the past week, and 36% of households here have a DAB set.*

* Source: Ofcom Media Nations: Northern Ireland 2021

Meet The Team

The Belfast and Lisburn DAB directors are four experienced broadcasters.

Davy Sims

started in radio in more than 40 years ago and has worked in community, local and national radio and has 20 plus years’ experience in web and interactive media.

Liane Radcliffe

Lianne is Deputy Head of School of Performing and Creative Arts at South Eastern Regional College, who operate three community licences; Lisburn’s 98, Bangor FM and Down Community Radio.

Stephen Craig

Stephen has 30 years’ experience in broadcast technology at BBCNI. For the past 10 years he has been a freelance system architect [working in radio transmission, TV engineering and systems architecture].

John Rosborough

John has worked in Radio since 1975 and was Head of Programming at Downtown Radio/Cool FM for 21 years, and MD of Citybeat, U105 and Belfast 89. He was made a Fellow of the Radio Academy in 2003.

Find Out More

Please feel free to contact us with any comments or queries, and if you’re a Programme Service Provider, we look forward to hopefully working with you in this exciting development for local radio.

An Indicative Rate Card has been prepared, to give prospective Programme Service Providers an idea of the range of options. This is available on request, and we would very much welcome feedback on this, to allow us to better respond to the needs of the sector.