image001-7In a Christmas message issued this lunchtime, the Director of BBC North Peter Salmon gives his reasons to be cheerful.

The email, accompanied by a Christmas card-style image and a picture of Victoria Wood outside the MediaCity UK studios, was sent out titled ‘happy’ days in tough times.

He says: “’Happy’ is definitely the word round here this week – Christmas and all that.

“Not just the festive season though – some strong North of England content to celebrate too, led by this weekend’s stunning BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2013 from Leeds Arena, in front of 12,000 in the stadium and a peak of nearly eight million at home.

“A big national stage for Northern talent – just how we like it.“

The director, who has faced criticism about his expenses in recent weeks, keeps a positive tone throughout the message.

image002-6And he highlights the BBC’s impact on the neighbouring Salford community for particular praise by reproducing part of a letter from a local school.

“But what really makes us happy are the people stories that say most about our big move North. The BBC spreading its licence fee investment in a difficult economic climate really matters – and the impact it can have on lives.  

“Margaret Ambrose, Head of nearby school St Joseph’s Ordsall just wrote saying: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to say how much we are benefitting from the arrival of the BBC to Salford.  The children will be with you for the carol concert, we’ve met Doctor Who and waved at The Queen…  The barriers to a different and more exciting future are coming down and all our children can see the value of creativity and communication.’ ”