BBC DG, Tim Davie, has set out plans that will see the corporation “shift its creative and journalistic centre away from London” over the next six years.

The proposals were set out in the BBC’s blueprint for the future entitled The BBC Across the UK.

By 2027/28, the BBC said it will be spending “at the very least, an extra £700m cumulatively across the UK – generating an additional economic benefit of over £850 million. This will not only dramatically increase opportunities for jobs and training, but improve representation on and off screen.”

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, says: “Our mission must be to deliver for the whole of the UK and ensure every household gets value from the BBC. These plans will get us closer to audiences, create jobs and investment, and develop and nurture new talent.

“Over the last year, the BBC – which has been an essential part of the UK’s culture, democracy and creativity for almost a century – has helped inform, educate and entertain all four Nations, as we have collectively faced some of our toughest moments in recent history.

“Now, as we look to the future, we must play our part in supporting social and economic recovery; rebuilding the creative sector and telling the stories that need to be heard from all corners of the UK.”

Plans include a “clear majority” of UK-wide TV will be made across the UK, not in London – at least 60% of network TV commissions by spend; significant parts of BBC News will move to centres across the UK; Salford to be main base for digital and technology teams and BBC Studios bases in Bristol, Cardiff and Glasgow to grow; new creative partnerships with Northern Ireland Screen, Creative Scotland and Creative Wales, and a focus on partnerships in the North and Midlands in England. The BBC will also support 1,000 apprentices in any year across the UK and pilot an Apprentice Training Agency in the West Midlands.

In addition, news and current affairs programmes like BBC Two’s Newsnight will be presented from different UK bases through the year and Radio 4’s Today programme will be co-presented from outside London for at least 100 episodes a year. The  BBC One daytime show Morning Live will be broadcast year-round from Salford.

Funds will be invested in two new long-running network drama series over the next three years – one from the North of England and one from one of the Nations; over the same period, more than 100 new and returning drama and comedy titles will “reflect the lives and communities of audiences outside London,” including at least 20 that will portray Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Jon Creamer

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