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BBC announcement – Reaction


There’s been a mixed reaction for the BBC’s plans to move more jobs and departments out of London, as part of its Across The UK blueprint.

MediaCityUK appears to be the biggest beneficiary, with 6 Music, Radio 3, Digital, Business and Morning Live moving to Salford.

Stephen Wild, Managing Director of MediaCityUK said:

“This announcement is really exciting for MediaCityUK and Salford as a whole. It means we can continue to attract and retain talent in the north as well as many more fantastic opportunities for our burgeoning creative, digital and tech sector.”

However, the NUJ has pointed to further job cuts, with 500 roles moving out of London and the “closure of another 150 posts.”

“We welcome more diversity and creating more content out of London is a good thing, as is extra investment in apprenticeships,” said Paul Siegert, the NUJ’s National Broadcasting Organiser.

“However, it’s strange that at the same time the BBC is talking about the importance of getting out of London and investing in the regions as a means of better serving the audience, it has also axed 450 post in English Regions and cut £25m from that budget. Are jobs in Cardiff, Bristol, or Leeds more important than jobs in Southampton, Tunbridge Wells or Norwich?

“How is making existing staff in Leeds redundant while at the same time moving other jobs from London to Leeds cost effective or getting closer to the audience?”

Bectu’s reaction was “the devil will be in the detail”:

“One of the greatest benefits of public service broadcasting is the opportunity to tell the stories of all peoples across the nations and regions of the UK. It is good to see the BBC wanting to build on its strong local offering and prioritise getting closer to communities across the nations and regions of the UK,” said Bectu National Secretary Noel McClean.

“Our immediate concern is the impact on people, our members. As ever, the devil will be in the detail and Bectu will be going through the proposals with a fine tooth comb to ensure that workers are properly supported through these changes and that the need for redundancies is minimised.”

Screen Yorkshire Chief Executive, Sally Joynson, said she welcomed the BBC’s plans to move key BBC News roles to Leeds:

“The BBC’s expansion in Yorkshire will ultimately bring jobs to the local industry and further boost the Yorkshire screen industries’ reputation for excellence. But the devil is in the detail, and we look forward to hearing more about what exactly will be involved. 

“Building on the momentum gained by Channel 4’s move to Leeds, these plans demonstrate a genuine commitment to the North, and the BBC’s expansion into Leeds and the North East is recognition that there’s more to the North than Salford and MediaCity UK.”



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