Scots Govt calls for ‘more representative’ BBC

The Scottish Government has called for a decentralized BBC that transfers more decision-making on BBC Scotland north of the border and for the BBC “to deliver better, more representative content for Scottish audiences and strengthen its support for Scotland’s creative sector.”

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said that with full control of the money raised in Scotland through the licence fee, BBC Scotland could deliver up to an extra £100 million of investment in Scotland’s creative sector in just one year.

Such a move would also support an extra 1,500 jobs and contribute up to an extra £60 million to Scotland’s economy, said Hyslop.

“Over the period of the next Charter, this would see as much as £1 billion invested directly in Scotland’s creative economy and around £600 million of additional economic benefit,” said Hyslop.

The culture secretary said Scots do not feel the BBC fully represents their views and interests.

In a new policy paper, Hyslop outlined a detailed vision for the future of publicly-funded, public service broadcasting in Scotland.

The paper provides more detail on the cabinet secretary’s recent calls for the BBC to operate under a new decentralised structure that transfers commissioning, editorial and budget decisions directly to Scotland, and for new TV and radio platforms and channels.

It calls for a range of new measures to be implemented, either through the current Charter renewal process, or separately.

The paper forms part of the Scottish Government’s engagement with the BBC Charter renewal process, in which it has a formal role for the first time.

The paper calls for Scottish journalists to be given a greater voice across the network, more support for Scottish independent producers to take their content to global markets, and for BBC ALBA to receive the same levels of in-house programming as the Welsh language channel S4C.

“The vision I have set out today is founded on a recognition of the immense value of a public service broadcaster,” said Hyslop.

“The BBC is one of the most important and influential cultural, social, economic and democratic institutions in our country, but audience satisfaction ratings show Scots do not feel the corporation fully represents their views and interests.

“The changes we are seeking will address this fundamental issue, empowering the BBC to deliver better outcomes both for the people of Scotland, and across the whole of the UK.

“Decentralising control to BBC Scotland will mean commissioning, editorial and budget decisions will more accurately reflect Scottish issues and interests.

“It could also deliver a significant economic boost to Scotland …

“At the heart of our ambition is the Scottish Government’s commitment to high quality, well-resourced public service broadcasting — underpinned by a sustainable and growing Scottish production and creative sector.

“The people of Scotland — our audiences, our production sector and those in our wider creative industries deserve no less.”

The full policy paper can be read here: