Alice Webb: “The BBC is just as committed to the north as we were five years ago”
Alice Webb, the director of BBC North says that despite an internal restructure, which relegated the operation to being part of Nations and Regions, that the BBC remains just as committed to the North as it was when it arrived in 2011.
“Last week, the BBC made a series of management changes, designed to make us simpler and save money, which can be invested into programmes and services,” she said.
“It means the teams at BBC North will now report into different directors and form part of different divisions. But none of this changes anything on the ground where it is very much business as usual.”
It’s 5 years since the first tranche of BBC departments made the move to MediaCityUK. It began with the BBC Philharmonic and was followed by Radio Radio 5 Live, Sport, Children’s and Breakfast, as well as staff from digital and the Red Button.
Webb pointed to programming activity going on across the North of England - not just in Salford. This includes Newcastle-based Boy Meets Girl, which has returned to BBC Two; and The Worst Witch, which is currently filming in Cheshire for CBBC.
“There is huge potential for creative and digital growth in the north, building on the already thriving creative sector in the region. The BBC wants to help drive this growth,” she continued.
In the last 5 years, the BBC has made 525 television programmes in the North of England, with 13,000 network hours of radio made every year.
In total 35,000 hours of output comes from Salford every year, across television, radio and the Red Button, with a reach of 100m.