Director-General Sets Out New Plan for BBC in Midlands

Posted on 25 November 2013

BBC Director-General Tony Hall this week returned to Birmingham to outline the start of a new creative vision for the BBC in the Midlands. The plan includes basing several services at the Birmingham site including training schemes, a new digital innovation team and The Space from the Arts Council. It was also confirmed that significant work on the BBC’s 2016 Shakespeare season will be completed in the Midlands. The changes will take place over the next two years and will bring around 80 jobs and £23.5m additional activity to the city over a three-year period.

Speaking to the whole team in the Mailbox, the BBC’s base in Birmingham, he said: “I want to make Birmingham a really exciting and important part of what we do. This is just the start – but make no mistake, if you’re interested in new skills and digital innovation, this is the place to be.”

Outlining his vision, Tony Hall talked about some of the plans:

  • The teams who deliver entry level training schemes, talent and skills development, including inductions, will be based in Birmingham. BBC apprenticeships and traineeships will also be run from Birmingham
  • The BBC has agreed in principle with the Arts Council, England that Birmingham will become the new home for The Space, their pioneering digital arts partnership. Teams from Birmingham will also make a substantial contribution to the BBC’s Shakespeare season in 2016
  • A new digital innovation team will be developed in Birmingham, working with the Creative City Partnership and local talent to tell stories differently and produce content in a whole new way. This is part of the BBC’s wider strategy to engage younger, more diverse audiences
  • The BBC’s Outreach and Corporate Social Responsibility team, who work with local communities, educating and inspiring people right across the country, will also be moving to Birmingham

Tony Hall also outlined how the Mailbox would become an open skills and development space for people and his overall aim to build on the city’s growing reputation for cutting edge digital work, its diverse talent pool, vibrant young audiences, strong arts scene and to celebrate Birmingham’s rich potential and ambitions for the future.

Tommy Nagra, newly appointed Head of Business Development for BBC Birmingham, will work with new Head of Regional and Local Programmes, David Jennings, and internal BBC staff and external partners to deliver the changes.

Peter Salmon, Director BBC North and tasked by Tony Hall to lead this project, said: “This is the first phase of our plans for the BBC in Birmingham. We’re building a stronger BBC in the city and today’s announcements are the first steps in that journey. We will continue to work with Birmingham, the wider region and the wider BBC to increase our activity here.”

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