BBC to give broader support to Scotland

Tony Hall, the director general of the BBC, has said more will be done to improve the corporation’s balance of production spending in Scotland over the next decade.

The BBC spends £200m a year on production in Scotland, with £123m spent on Scottish-only programming and £82m funnelled into Scottish-made network output, according to a BBC News report.

Hall acknowledged this week to the Scottish Education and Culture Committee in Holyrood that more needs to be done to reflect authentic views of Scotland as a country.

Hall faced a call from Scotland’s culture minister Fiona Hyslop to federalise the BBC in Scotland by launching a dedicated BBC TV channel and radio station in the country.

"I want to be clear it is not about some desire to control the BBC and to dictate what kind of services are delivered, this is about ensuring the BBC's long term future in a way that benefits both the BBC and which benefits Scotland,” Hyslop told MSPs in comments reported by the BBC.

"It is a future that cannot be deemed to be meeting the needs of the UK's nations and regions unless it thinks about Scotland in a different way."

Hall supported the idea of more decisions being made in Scotland, but clarified that dedicated BBC channels and radio stations north of the border would be tricky to set up under the terms of the corporation’s new funding agreement. 

The BBC’s TV dramas One Of Us and The Secret Agent filmed entirely in Edinburgh in 2015 and played a major role in boosting production spending in the city by 30% compared to the previous year. Building on this, a new series of Robot Wars will shoot in Glasgow for BBC Two in the coming months.

Pressure remains for the BBC to increase its production spending throughout Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to better represent the nations in its broadcast scheduling. 

 



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