The BBC will shift its creative and journalistic centre away from London over the next six years, in a move bosses say will see the BBC better reflect and represent the whole country. This as the broadcaster signed a landmark deal with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), pledging to significantly increase investment and its presence across the region.
Projects in the West Midlands
- The “Across the UK” blueprint will see at least one new primetime drama and one new primetime entertainment series set in the West Midlands. Other top shows are also to be produced in the region.
- A new peak time radio service and a learning hub will launch in Wolverhampton.
- An apprentice training agency will be piloted in the region.
- As part of plans for a “strong youth focus”, Asian Network will be run from Birmingham. Plus, Newsbeat will move to the city. These will provide content for Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra and Asian Network.
- The BBC news data team will partly relocate to Birmingham, while a newly recruited network of digital reporters will focus on local stories.
- And BBC Three will launch a new documentary for producers to tell original stories from the Midlands.
Top shows set in the region in recent years include Peaky Blinders, Citizen Khan and Man Like Mobeen. Boon and Crossroads were also filmed in the region.
Moving Closer to Audiences
Tim Davie, director-general of the BBC, said: “Our mission must be to deliver for the whole country and ensure every household gets value from us. These plans show how we want to be closer to audiences, create jobs and investment and develop and nurture talent.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, said: “Today is a landmark day for the BBC and the West Midlands. For too long our region has been under-represented within the corporation. However, working with the new Director General Tim Davie, we are now beginning to put past problems right.