Nicola Sturgeon says controversial BBC move 'not in interests of Scotland'

Nicola Sturgeon has criticised reports the BBC may move control of studios in Scotland to London as “not in the interests of Scotland”.

Media reports have suggested studios A and B at the corporation’s Pacific Quay base in Glasgow could be transferred to BBC Studioworks – a subsidiary of the broadcaster – with concerns raised over job prospects in the TV sector.

The issue was raised by Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer at First Minister’s Questions in the Holyrood chamber on Thursday.

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The BBC is reportedly looking at transferring studios based in Glasgow to a London-based subsidiary.

He said the trade union BECTU had warned the move could cost “dozens” of the 150 jobs based in the studios.

Mr Greer said: “There are absolutely no advantages to the studios at BBC Scotland’s HQ being transferred to a London-based subsidiary company.

"Dozens of jobs are now at unnecessary risk and there is widespread concern across the Scottish film and TV industry that their access to the studio space could be restricted, as those decisions will be taken from London. Even BBC Scotland’s own executives oppose this move.”

Responding, the First Minister said she and the Scottish Government regularly make representations to the BBC around licence fee spending in Scotland and urged caution around the plan.

She said: “I absolutely share the concerns that Ross Greer has indicated.

"I hope this move doesn’t go ahead. I can’t see and I haven’t seen anything that would suggest to me it would be in the interests of Scotland as a whole or the production sector in particular.

"The government will be happy to meet with a representative of BECTU. If that hasn’t already been arranged, I’m sure that it can be quickly.”

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