The BBC has today revealed “ambitious plans” for its biggest transformation in decades – and it’s seeing “more power and decision-making” move to the north.
It’s all part of the BBC Across the UK plan.
At present, half the BBC’s operations are based outside of London – with departments including BBC Sport, 5 Live and Children’s having relocated to MediaCityUK in Salford in 2011 – but over the next six years, the BBC will increase this activity across the north to further cement a commitment to “reflect, represent and serve” all parts of the country, and deliver “great value for all audiences”.
Not only that, but the BBC Across the UK plan will also give even more prominence to stories from communities across the region.
This has been called the “biggest creative and journalistic reshaping” of the BBC in its history.
The BBC’s base in MediaCityUK is set to grow even more, with Salford becoming the hub for the broadcaster’s digital and technology teams. BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 6 Music will also become rooted in the north, with more than 50% of their broadcast hours coming from Salford.
Hit BBC One daytime show Morning Live will also be broadcast from Salford all year-round.
And, a new long-running drama series produced in the north of England will also be launched and broadcast across the country.
Speaking on the unveiling of today’s plans, Tim Davie – Director-General of the BBC – said: “Our mission must be to deliver for the whole country and ensure every household gets value from us [and] these plans show how we want to be closer to audiences, create jobs and investment and develop and nurture talent.
“Over the last year, the BBC 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 the UK’s social and economic recovery by rebuilding the creative sector and telling the stories that need to be heard from all corners of the country”.
What can Salford expect from the BBC then?
- The BBC’s base in MediaCityUK to become the hub for the BBC’s Audio Business News service, with the Today programme business updates also coming from Salford.
- BBC One daytime hit Morning Live will relocate to Salford and broadcast to the UK every weekday.
- BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 6 Music will be rooted in the North, with more than 50% of their broadcast hours coming from Salford.
- The recruiting of a new network of community digital reporters to help bring journalism closer to communities.
- The Writersroom – the BBC’s home for new writing talent – will be expanded in Salford, with a new Head of New Writing based at BBC North, tasked with discovering and developing new writers in the north and across the whole UK.
- A new assistant comedy commissioner will be based in Salford working with talent in the North on new and existing titles.
- There will be a new commercial operation for BBC Children’s working out of Salford.
- Newsnight will be presented from different bases throughout the year, including from Salford.
On top of that, according to the BBC, all the above changes mean that from 2022, the entire live output of BBC One, from 6am to 10am, will broadcast from Salford – which it says makes it the only channel in the UK to do so.
The broadcaster says that the general aim for the plan is to “move power, investment and resources right across the UK”.
It is also keen to increase “economic, cultural, and social impact” in every corner of the country.
You can read more about the BBC Across the UK plan here.