BBC to shift £700m of spending from London

The BBC is to shift £700m of spending outside London in a revamp of its UK footprint.

The move is believed to help BBC executives reconnect with audiences, shedding the national broadcaster’s reputation for liberal metropolitan bias.

Tech and climate journalists, scriptwriters, radio commissioners and one of the BBC’s six orchestras will be relocated around the country, with more than 400 posts leaving London in the near future.

Under the BBC plans for the next six years, the broadcaster will for the first time make a “clear majority” of its UK-wide television output across the four nations and different regions of England. Overall, the strategy is expected to see an increase of about 1,000 BBC positions outside London, with 400 existing roles being relocated.

About 200 journalists are planned to leave the capital. A climate and science news team will relocate to Cardiff, tech reporters to Glasgow and some data journalists to Birmingham. Flagship news programmes will also be broadcast more frequently from different locations around the UK. At least 100 episodes of the Today programme on Radio 4 will have a presenter outside London. BBC2’s Newsnight will be hosted from cities such as Belfast, Manchester and Cardiff.

“Our mission must be to deliver for the whole of the UK and ensure every household gets value from the BBC.  These plans will get us closer to audiences.”


– Tim Davie, BBC Director-General

BBC has already successfully established a new hub for sport, children’s programming and Radio 5 Live in Salford, near Manchester.

Thousands of civil servants are already expected to move under proposals by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to create new outposts for Whitehall departments outside the capital. The Treasury will establish a presence in Darlington ,and the Cabinet Office in Glasgow.

Image: BBC Cymru Wales, a division of the BBC and the national broadcaster for Wales based in Cardif, UK, by Jackie Davies / Adobe Stock

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About Helen Macefield

Helen Macefield reports on UK news.

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