The BBC has revealed ambitious plans for more power and decision-making in the North, with further expansion of its presence at MediaCityUK in Salford.
Currently, half the BBC is based outside of London, with departments including Sport, 5 Live and Children’s having re-located to MediaCityUK in Salford in 2011.
Proposals set out in The BBC Across the UK plan will give even more prominence to stories from communities across the North region as part of the biggest creative and journalistic reshaping of the BBC in its history.
Already home to 3,500 BBC staff, the corporation said that its MediaCityUK base will grow even more, making it:
- The main base for the BBC’s digital and technology teams, a global centre of excellence, supported by digital teams in Glasgow, Cardiff and London.
- BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 6 Music will be rooted in the North with more than 50% of their broadcast hours coming from Salford.
- Hit BBC One daytime show Morning Live will broadcast from Salford year-round.
- The Writersroom, the BBC’s home for new writing talent, will be expanded in Salford with a new Head of New Writing based at BBC North, tasked with discovering and developing new writers in the North and across the whole UK.
- A new assistant comedy commissioner will be based in Salford working with talent in the North on new and existing titles.
- There will be a new commercial operation for BBC Children’s working out of Salford.
- Newsnight will be presented from different bases throughout the year, including from Salford.
BBC North in Salford is already home to major BBC departments including BBC Sport and BBC Children’s.
It is also home to BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 5 Live plus programmes such as Match of the Day, Blue Peter, Newsround, Football Focus and the BBC’s regional and local services for the North West.
The BBC was the catalyst for the development of MediaCityUK in Salford where firms like ITV, The Hut Group and Kellogg’s are now based.
A KMPG report published in 2021 found that since the BBC moved to Salford, employment in the creative sector in the city has grown by 142% and the number of creative businesses has grown by 70%.
Director-General of the BBC, Tim Davie, 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.
“Now, as we look to the future, we must play our part in supporting the UK’s social and economic recovery; rebuilding the creative sector and telling the stories that need to be heard from all corners of the country.”
The plan will mean more than a thousand extra jobs beyond London – as well as supporting hundreds of new roles in the tv and audio production sector across the nations and regions.
Digital and creative is a global frontier sector strength within the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy and GM Economic Vision.
You can read more about The BBC Across the UK plan here.