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Digital Broadcasting

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent estimate he has made of the likely cost to the public purse of digital switchover in (a) the Vale of York, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) England. (286061)

A total of £603 million for the Digital Switchover help scheme and £200 million for Digital UK’s marketing and communications were ring-fenced in the current TV licence fee agreement, which runs to March 2013. These figures cover the UK as a whole and have not been divided between nations, regions or individual constituencies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the cost to the public purse of digital switchover has been in (a) the Vale of York, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) England to date. (286063)

As detailed in the Help Scheme Agreement, the £603 million estimated cost of the help scheme will be divided into annual amounts for the purpose of funding the scheme. The ITV Yorkshire region (covering the Vale of York and North Yorkshire) does not switch until 2011, therefore to date there has been no spend in this region. It is not possible to estimate the total cost of running the scheme to date in England since a large proportion of the costs are fixed costs that are associated with developing and running the scheme across the UK as a whole.

There has been no regional cost incurred by Digital UK activity in Yorkshire as this will commence in spring 2010. In England the cost to date of all Digital UK switchover communications and operations, which excludes Wales, Northern Ireland, STV Central and STV North is £57 million.