BBC Radio Leeds

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BBC Radio Leeds
BBC Radio Leeds.png
City Leeds
Broadcast area West Yorkshire
Slogan Your station for Yorkshire
Frequency FM: 92.4, 95.3, 102.7, 103.9 MHz
MW: 774 kHz
DAB: Digital Radio
Freeview: Channel 719
First air date24 June 1968
Format Local news, talk and music
Language(s) English
Owner BBC Local Radio,
BBC Yorkshire
Website BBC Radio Leeds

BBC Radio Leeds is the BBC Local Radio service for the English metropolitan county of West Yorkshire. The station broadcasts from studios based in St Peter's Square in Leeds.

BBC Local Radio is the BBC's local and regional radio service for England and the Channel Islands, consisting of forty stations. They cover a variety of areas; with some serving a city and surrounding areas, for example BBC Radio Manchester; a county, for example BBC Radio Norfolk; a conurbation, for example BBC WM; or a region, for example BBC Radio Solent.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Metropolitan county type of county-level administrative division of England

The metropolitan counties are a type of county-level administrative division of England. There are six metropolitan counties, which each cover large urban areas, typically with populations of 1.2 to 2.8 million. They were created in 1974 and are each divided into several metropolitan districts or boroughs.



The station began broadcasting at the Merrion Centre at 5.30pm on 24 June 1968, becoming the 7th station to go on air. Initially a two-year experiment and co-funded by Leeds City Council, the station was only available in Leeds on a low powered 50 watt VHF transmitter in Meanwood Park, on 94.6 MHz. [1] Listening figures were very low as at that time, the majority of listeners still listened to radio via AM. In 1970 the station was made permanent and began broadcasting to all of West Yorkshire from the Holme Moss transmitting station and in 1972 the station started broadcasting on MW and branded itself as “the voice of West Yorkshire”. [2]

Merrion Centre, Leeds shopping centre in Leeds, UK

The Merrion Centre is a shopping centre in located in Arena Quarter, Leeds, England. Since opening in 1964, the centre has been owned and managed by Town Centre Securities. Originally open air, the centre had a roof installed during the 1970s.

Leeds City Council Local government body in England

Leeds City Council is the local authority of the City of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. It is a metropolitan district council, one of five in West Yorkshire and one of 36 in the metropolitan counties of England, and provides the majority of local government services in Leeds. Since 1 April 2014 it has been a constituent council of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

West Yorkshire County of England

West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in England. It is an inland and in relative terms upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in moors of the Pennines and has a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972.

In 1974 BBC Radio Leeds, along with BBC Look North, moved to new studios in Woodhouse Lane, where it remained for thirty years until the studio was demolished in 2004.

BBC Look North is a name used by the BBC for its local regional news programme in three regions in the North of England:

Until the mid 1980s the station was generally on air from breakfast until teatime, with any programming after 6pm devoted to specialist music and magazines aimed at specialist interests and at ethnic minority communities. These programmes did not broadcast all year round. In August 1986, evening programmes began on a permanent basis when the station joined with the other three BBC stations in Yorkshire to provide an early evening service of specialist music programmes on weeknights from 6 pm to 7:30 pm, extending a year later to six days a week (Wednesday to Monday) between 7 pm and 9 pm with Tuesdays reserved for local sports coverage. May 1989 saw the launch of BBC Night Network which saw the BBC Local Radio stations in the North of England broadcasting networked programming every evening from 6:05 pm (6 pm at the weekend) and midnight, extending to 12:30 am in the early 1990s, and to 1 am by the end of that decade. During this period, the station was branded as “West Yorkshire’s FM BBC Radio Leeds.”

The BBC Night Network was an all-evening radio network which linked up the North East England, Yorkshire and the Humber, and later the North West England regions of BBC Local Radio. Each station would share the same programming.

BBC Radio Leeds' main studios are at the BBC Yorkshire buildings on St. Peter's Square in Leeds. BBC Yorkshire, Leeds - - 1026004.jpg
BBC Radio Leeds' main studios are at the BBC Yorkshire buildings on St. Peter's Square in Leeds.

In 2012, the station shut down its offices and studios at the National Media Museum in Bradford, where the public was able to see programmes being broadcast. Radio Leeds also operated district newsrooms and contribution studios in Wakefield Town Hall, at Dean Clough in Halifax and at Huddersfield Town Hall. Four years later, the station reinstated an office and studio in Bradford, located in the Horton building at The University of Bradford.

Bradford City and metropolitan borough in England

Bradford is a city in West Yorkshire, England, in the foothills of the Pennines, 8.6 miles (14 km) west of Leeds, and 16 miles (26 km) north-west of Wakefield. Bradford became a municipal borough in 1847, and received its charter as a city in 1897. Following local government reform in 1974, city status was bestowed upon the City of Bradford metropolitan borough.

Wakefield city in West Yorkshire, England

Wakefield is a cathedral city in West Yorkshire, England, on the River Calder and the eastern edge of the Pennines, which had a population of 99,251 at the 2011 census.

Dean Clough

Dean Clough in Halifax, Calderdale, West Yorkshire, England, is a group of large factory buildings built in the 1840s–60s for Crossley's Carpets, becoming one of the world's largest carpet factories. After years of declining production it closed in 1983, when it was bought by a consortium led by Sir Ernest Hall which developed the Grade II listed site for various commercial and cultural uses. It is now seen as a leading example of successful urban regeneration. Dean Clough is located on the north side of Halifax near the Victorian North Bridge and the modern flyover sections of the Burdock Way relief road system. The converted mills now house about 150 large and small businesses and arts venues including Crossley Gallery and several other art galleries and the Viaduct Theatre, home base for the Northern Broadsides theatre company. Phoenix Radio 96.7 FM has its studios in D Mill and Lloyds Banking Group has offices in G Mill.

BBC Radio Leeds was the home of BBC Local Radio’s networked evening show [3] which was broadcast from the start of 2013 until local weeknight evening programming was reintroduced in autumn 2018. [4]

According to RAJAR, the station has a weekly audience of 216,000 listeners and a 4.3% share as of December 2018. [5]


The main VHF/FM transmitter is located at the Holme Moss transmitting station on 92.4 MHz, covering most of West Yorkshire. Unusually, this transmitter also transmits neighbouring services Radio Manchester and Radio Sheffield from separate directional aerials on the mast.

Radio Leeds is also carried on the Wharfedale and Luddenden relay transmitters on 95.3 MHz, from Keighley on 102.7 and from Beecroft Hill (West Leeds) on 103.9 MHz to fill in areas which are screened from Holme Moss by the topology of the area. The medium wave service on 774 kHz is transmitted from Farnley (also known as Leeds MF).

Since 2001, BBC Radio Leeds has also been carried on the Bauer Leeds DAB multiplex, and since October 2002, on the Bradford & Huddersfield Multiplex. Live streaming is available from the station's website and in 2015 the station began broadcasting throughout the BBC Yorkshire area on Freeview Channel 719.


BBC Radio Leeds being broadcast from the Merrion Centre in 2018. BBC Radio Leeds being broadcast from the Merrion Centre, Leeds (27th June 2018).jpg
BBC Radio Leeds being broadcast from the Merrion Centre in 2018.

The majority of the station's programming is produced and broadcast from Leeds, the station's local presenters include Richard Stead (weekday breakfast), Stephanie Hirst (weekday mornings), Liz Green (weekday afternoons) and Gayle Lofthouse (weekday drivetime).

During the station's overnight downtime, BBC Radio Leeds simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live (weekdays from 1 am to 5 am and weekends from 1 am to 6 am).

Sports coverage

A BBC Radio Leeds vehicle as seen at Headingley during a one-day cricket match in 2009. Radio Leeds car.jpg
A BBC Radio Leeds vehicle as seen at Headingley during a one-day cricket match in 2009.

BBC Radio Leeds broadcasts commentaries on many Football and Rugby league games involving Leeds United, Huddersfield Town, Bradford City, and a number of Rugby League teams including Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls, Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Castleford Tigers. Rugby Union with Yorkshire Carnegie and coverage of Yorkshire County Cricket Club in all formats.

BBC Radio Leeds is the only station in West Yorkshire that covers all home and away live match commentaries on Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Bradford City.


Managing Editor: Sanjiv Buttoo

Notable former presenters

BBC Radio in Leeds Blue Plaque BBC Radio in Leeds Blue Plaque.jpg
BBC Radio in Leeds Blue Plaque

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  1. "VHF Broadcast Re-planning". 8 January 2002. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  2. BBC Radio Leeds at 50
  3. "Mark Forrest to host BBC networked show". Radio Today. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  4. BBC Media Centre Tony Hall pledges a "renaissance" for BBC local radio as the service marks its 50th anniversary
  5. "RAJAR". RAJAR. Retrieved 27 September 2015.

Coordinates: 53°47′50.6″N1°32′01.8″W / 53.797389°N 1.533833°W / 53.797389; -1.533833