The BBC has announced its biggest investment in Scotland in 20 years
The corporation is launching a new English-language channel in the nation.
From September 2018, BBC Scotland will broadcast nightly from 7pm, and will contain its own hour-long nightly news programme at 9pm (15 minutes at 7pm weekends) which will be edited and presented from Scotland.
The BBC is investing £19m in the channel and in surrounding digital developments, and will oversee the creation of around 80 new journalist posts. Together with existing funding, that will give the channel an initial budget of around £30m.
Another £1.2m will be funnelled into BBC Alba – the corporation’s Gaelic-language channel.
The move is part of a net effort by the broadcaster to increase investment in Scottish programming across the BBC’s output. In 2015/16, the BBC’s spend on UK-wide programming created in Scotland was £65m. The corporation expects to increase that by an average of £20m a year over the next three years.
Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, explained the move, saying “The BBC is Britain’s broadcaster but we need to do more for each nation, just as we are doing more for Britain globally.
“All of this combined amounts to the biggest single investment by the BBC in broadcast content in Scotland for over 20 years.”
The announcement follows a similar pledge for Wales yesterday, with the BBC pledging to increase investment in English-langauge programming for Wales by 50%, and promising an additional £8.5m p/a in funding.
Announcements are expected for the BBC’s plans for Northern Ireland and for Britain globally.