The BBC has set out plans to revamp its local services in England  that will include 450 job losses.

BBC England, home of the BBC’s local radio stations and regional TV news, plans to modernise the BBC’s regional TV centres, commission a broader range of TV programming that reflects life across England especially in the North and Midlands, launch a new investigative journalism programme on BBC One for audiences in the English regions and add more weekly regional politics programmes.

BBC England must save £25m by the end of March 2022.

The BBC already had to save £800m in this charter period before COVID-19 struck. The pandemic has added a further £125m to the BBC’s savings total due to a shortfall in revenue.

Helen Thomas, the Director of BBC England, says: “I’m proud people have turned to us for trusted news and information in huge numbers during COVID-19, proving the importance of our local and regional services. But those services were created more than 50 years ago, have changed very little and need significant reinvention. That has meant taking some difficult decisions.

“We are in the age of the Facebook community group and the WhatsApp neighbourhood chat. We must adapt to better reflect how people live their lives, how they get their news and what content they want.

“We’re going to modernise our offer to audiences in England by making digital a central part of everything we do. We’ll take forward lessons from COVID-19 that will make us more agile and more in touch with communities, while also ensuring we’re as efficient as we can be. I’m confident we can evolve our local and regional services while improving our impact and better serving our audiences.”


Jon Creamer

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