"We have carefully looked at a number of options and opportunities in this area, but after very careful consideration, we felt that this was by far the best group with a special and distinctive proposition. We believe that Newsquest brings real complementary strengths to this group which will help us to rapidly establish Nova 106 in a crowded and competitive market place and to bring a real difference to listeners in this region."

YRE is chaired by Martyn Rose, the co-founder in 1992 and subsequently chairman of Minster Sound radio group based in York, which also operates stations Scarborough, Bridlington, and Huddersfield. He left the company in February this year after it was jointly acquired by GWR and Radio Investments.

He said: "This licence offers one of the last opportunities to strike out and do something different with commercial radio in the UK. The consortium has been working on its application for more than a year and has carried out extensive research, as well as consulting with interest groups across the region. Martyn Rose said it would reveal "startling consumer information" to back up the programming format.

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