BBC announces latest job cuts and 400 roles to leave London

  • 18 Mar 2021

The corporation says the aim is to better serve the audience by becoming less London-centric.  

The job cuts are part of 520 post closures across News that were announced last year and are part of a £800m savings package across the whole of the BBC. News has been set a savings target of £85m.

Under the plans, a Climate and Science team will move to Cardiff, a Learning and Identity team will move to Leeds and World Service current affairs to Salford.

There are also proposals to launch six new peak time local radio services in communities facing some of the biggest social and economic challenges.

Paul Siegert, the NUJ's national broadcasting organiser, said:

"We welcome more diversity and creating more content out of London is a good thing, as is extra investment in apprenticeships. However, It's strange that at the same time the BBC is talking about the importance of getting out of London and investing in the regions as a means of better serving the audience, it has also axed 450 post in English Regions and cut £25m from that budget.
"Are jobs in Cardiff, Bristol, or Leeds more important than jobs in Southampton, Tunbridge Wells or Norwich? How is making existing staff in Leeds redundant while at the same time moving other jobs from London to Leeds cost effective or getting closer to the audience?"

There are plans to create 56 new roles mostly in digital, having more Radio Four programmes such as Today and PM coming from outside of London on a weekly basis, and moving Newsbeat and the Asian Network to Birmingham as part of a new creative quarter being developed in the city.

Tim Davie said in his speech to his staff:

"For the first time in our history, we will make the majority of network TV beyond London. We will set a target of at least 60 per cent of network TV commissions, by spend, to be made across the UK by the end of the Charter, up from 50 per cent today…We will implement a similar ambition, with 50 per cent of radio and music spend to be outside London, up from around 40 per cent today."

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