Fairer share of BBC licence fee ‘could boost Scots economy by £60m’

Investing a fairer share of the Tv licence in Scotland could boost the economy and jobs, according to Fiona Hyslop. Picture: John Devlin

Investing a fairer share of the Tv licence in Scotland could boost the economy and jobs, according to Fiona Hyslop. Picture: John Devlin

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Investing a fairer share of the television licence fee in Scotland could see an additional £100 million spent on broadcast output while supporting around 1,500 jobs, according to Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

The UK Government renewed the BBC Charter on Thursday, but the Scottish Government believes the proposals do not deliver fully for a Scottish audience.

The Scottish Government said that suggested proposals were “rejected” such as ensuring a fairer share of the licence fee money raised in Scotland being spent on productions being made north of the border.

Ms Hyslop said: “This has been a critical year for the BBC. It’s a year during which we have all worked together, in good faith, to help shape the next chapter in the BBC’s story.

“We can not and will not settle for the status quo. We have an opportunity to ensure that the BBC keeps up with and reflects wider social and constitutional changes.

“I want to speak to what I believe is the sheer scale of untapped potential in Scotland that the BBC could utilise.

“Scotland has a wealth of independent production talent across a range of genres that the BBC could tap into and better commission.

“We support the ambitions of BBC Scotland staff to be a high quality broadcaster for the people of Scotland, but their ambitions will only be realised with increased investment and the decentralisation of commissioning authority away from Broadcasting House in London into Pacific Quay.

“With a far fairer share of the licence fee raised in Scotland being invested here we could see an additional £100 million spent delivering quality TV and radio output, supporting the growth of our creative industries.

“It’s estimated that for every £100 million of production spend in Scotland, around 1,500 jobs will be supported and will contribute £60 million to the Scottish economy.”

The cabinet minister will be meeting with senior figures from the BBC and Ofcom to discuss the matter.

Ms Hyslop, added: “Audiences expect more, and I want BBC Scotland to be empowered to harness this potential for Scottish audiences.

“I want to see their expertise and talent at work, delivering for Scotland, contributing to network schedules, and having the confidence and financial support to deliver on TV, radio, and online, in news, drama, children’s, comedy, current affairs, and factual entertainment.

“Empowering BBC Scotland in this way does not require changes through the Charter to be delivered; it just needs the BBC itself to recognise the opportunity before them to transform broadcasting in Scotland.”

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