Planned BBC shake up will see some jobs and programmes moved out of London - here’s why

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 3:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 3:17 pm
Planned BBC shake up will see some jobs and programmes moved out of London - here’s why (Photo: Shutterstock)

The BBC has announced that several key members of staff and departments will be moved out of London in an attempt to make the broadcaster more reflective of the UK as a whole.

Entire departments and news divisions will be transferred to Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Salford, in the corporation's biggest transformation in decades.

Director General Tim Davie has said the BBC’s mission must be to deliver “for the whole of the UK”, and that the new plans will get the broadcaster “closer to audiences, create jobs and investment, and develop and nurture new talent.”

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Addressing the corporation's 22,000 staff members, Mr Davie said the plans would make the BBC “a genuinely UK-wide organisation" and "a post-Covid success story admired worldwide".

Mr Davie, who took up his role last June, has said previously that there had to be a “radical shift” within the organisation’s focus, to ensure people get value from the licence fee.

New BBC One for North of England

Included amongst the plans is a new version of BBC One that will be tailored for audiences in Yorkshire, as well as the North East and North West of England.

Also amongst the plans are two new soap-style network drama series from the North of England, and another one from the four nations. These will be produced over the next three years.

The broadcaster's news and current affairs output will be spread amongst the devolved nations, including BBC Two’s Newsnight show being presented from various UK bases through the year.

Radio 4’s flagship morning news show, the Today programme, will be co-presented from outside London for at least 100 episodes a year.

A total of 100 newly created reporter roles are also planned, to be based in towns and areas in the UK that have never had a regional TV presence. There will also be more investment into local reporting and apprenticeships.

The BBC News’s Climate and Science team will move to Cardiff, while the Technology team will shift to Glasgow. The Learning and Identity News team will transfer to Leeds.

Other changes include daytime output from Radio 1, 1Xtra and Radio 2 being moved from London, and made across the UK.