Scrappage scheme for old radios announced

A scrappage scheme to encourage people to replace their old analogue radios with new digital sets is to be launched, it was announced yesterday.

The "radio amnesty", which will begin on Saturday, will see participating retailers offer customers discounts of between 10 and 20 per cent on new DAB digital radios.

The initiative, developed by the BBC and commercial radio stations, draws inspiration from the Government's popular car scrappage scheme and will run until 26 June.

Analogue radios collected during this period will be reconditioned and sent to the Children's Radio Foundation in South Africa and Unicef, giving young people in remote locations access to radio programmes.

In its Digital Britain report last year, the Labour Government anticipated that by the end of 2013, half of radio listening would be digital, DAB coverage would reach 90 per cent of the population and all major roads and national DAB coverage should be comparable to FM coverage.

Currently 24 per cent of radio listening is to digital platforms, according to data released earlier this month by Radio Joint Audience Research.