BBC announcement of further investment in Birmingham welcomed
Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP Chair, Andy Street welcomed today’s announcement by the BBC to build on its existing £125m investment in Birmingham by creating a new dual base for BBC Three in the city.
Andy said: ““The BBC’s decision to invest in Birmingham is great news for the region and something we’ve been working with them on for some time now. By adding online youth content to the existing radio and TV production, we now make content for all of the BBC’s platforms. The relocation of the BBC Three’s Short Form Commissioning Team is a fantastic opportunity for our young, diverse and digitally skilled population. It is investment for us to build on and will help attract more creative industries to the region.”
The plans mean Birmingham will be home to:
- The second base for BBC Three
- Multi-platform news and factual content for young audiences, the Digital Innovation team, a public facing Blue Room, the Space, and digital dimensions of pan-BBC seasons like the Shakespeare season.
- Local and Regional News HQ, including new local news partnerships
- Part of BBC Asian Network
- The Drama Village in Selly Oak where we make over 130 hours for BBC One every year, including Doctors; Father Brown; The Coroner
- Radio Drama production, including Radio 4’s The Archers
- The Academy, including New Talent programmes (apprenticeships, traineeships etc), Outreach and School Report
HR, including Diversity & Inclusion
The commissioning, publishing and some of the production of BBC Three’s short-form content, and the social media team that supports it, would move to the Birmingham in a phased transition by 2018 under the proposals.
BBC Three will also create new commissioner and assistant commissioner roles based in Birmingham that will exclusively commission short-form content.
Birmingham will also be the home of a new youth team within BBC News who will be the main suppliers of the key news content for BBC Three’s Daily Drop.
In addition the BBC’s proposed local news partnerships are expected to be based in Birmingham alongside the English Regions HQ, moving control of more spend to the city.
The plans would move control of content budgets worth more than £10 million to BBC Birmingham putting it at the heart of producing fresh talent and innovative digital content for young audiences.
These teams, together with Birmingham’s young and diverse demographic, will be harnessed to act as part of the hub for the identification, development and commissioning of new diverse talent and programmes as announced in the BBC’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy last month.
To support this, the BBC Academy will launch a new scheme, the Birmingham Production Apprenticeship, for new off air talent from diverse backgrounds.
Tony Hall, BBC Director General, said: “I’ve seen in Birmingham how much of a difference our extra investment in the past couple of years has made – but I’ve also said there was more to do.
“Now we’re putting Birmingham at the heart of our innovation with BBC Three and making it home to a new youth team for BBC News. The city’s incredible diversity also means it’s the perfect place to lead our work to ensure we reflect the changing face of Britain.
“This package is good news for Birmingham and good news for the BBC.”
Joe Godwin, Director BBC Birmingham, said: “The BBC has a rich history in Birmingham but also a bright future.
“Today’s announcement builds on the £125m already invested in the city and its position as a centre of excellence for recruitment, training and digital innovation for the BBC.
“Birmingham is a great city with a huge amount of potential. I am really pleased we will be dedicating even more resources, producing even more content, and creating more opportunities for the industry and our audiences in the region.”
The move builds on BBC Three’s strong launch as an online channel and allows it to benefit from the wealth of young talent in Birmingham. Being co-sited with this BBC News team and the BBC Academy will also allow for increased collaboration as BBC Three reinvents the BBC’s offer for young people.
Mark Rogers, Chief Executive Birmingham City Council, said: “This welcome news represents a vote of confidence for Birmingham and underlines the growth of our creative sector. Our city has the talent and creativity to play an important role in the next chapter of the BBC story. As a city we have worked hard to make the case for Birmingham and this is a welcome development.”