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BBC makes shift towards the Midlands in aim for more regional content


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Today (Thursday 18 March), the BBC has revealed ambitious plans for its most significant transformation in decades, including moving more power and decision-making to the West Midlands. 

Over the next six years, the BBC will increase activity across the region to further cement a commitment to reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country and deliver great value for all audiences.

Building on the region’s TV production strength, more primetime brands will join Great British Menu in the Midlands. There will be at least one new primetime drama series and one new primetime entertainment series commissioned in the region. In network radio, the Asian Network will consolidate into one central Birmingham location. 

There will also be a strong youth focus for the future of the BBC in Birmingham. Newsbeat, which provides news content for Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra and Asian Network, will move to the city.  In addition, BBC Three is launching a new documentary opportunity for producers to tell original stories from the Midlands.

Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC, said: “Over the last year, the BBC – which has been an essential part of the UK’s culture, democracy and creativity for almost a century – has helped inform, educate and entertain all four Nations, as we have collectively faced some of our most challenging moments in recent history. 

“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 central aim of the “The BBC Across the UK” plan is to move power, investment and resources right across the UK and increase the BBC’s economic, cultural, and social impact in every corner of the country while working closely with regional partners.

The plan also outlines moves to pilot an Apprentice Training Agency in the West Midlands and recruit a new network of digital reporters to help bring journalism closer to communities.

 Ed Shedd, Chair of Create Central, added: “Since its launch, Create Central has been working closely with our regional partners on activities aimed at turbocharging the growth of the region’s creative content sector.

“This innovative partnership agreement with the BBC, Create Central and the WMCA, lays the foundations for a bright future for both audiences and creators in the West Midlands.” 

The BBC, Create Central, and WMCA agree to work closely and formally together to make more of the BBC’s existing presence in the region. The BBC will work closely with Create Central to promote the West Midlands’ creative content sector as a centre of excellence and a destination for production and inward investment. 








Written by: David Watkins

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