Letter from the Northwest Regional Development
BBC NORTH PROJECT
In response to the Select Committee enquiry
into the BBC Charter Review, please find attached an open letter
to Tessa Jowell submitted to her office today. In addition, I
would draw your attention to the following points:
The relocation has the full support
of the NWDA and other local partners, as well as our sister Regional
Development Agencies, Yorkshire Forward and One Northeast. This
proposed transfer of programme making, commissioning and the ancillary
services required to support them provides a significant opportunity
for the development of the North of England.
The relocation of the BBC would enable
the creation of a world class media sector. The region is already
home to ITV Granada and prosperous creative industries. The continued
growth of the sector is of major economic, social and cultural
importance. This is critical in achieving the DCMS goal of maximising
the contribution that these industries can make to the economy.
We would stress that, to achieve
its full potential, the move must bring with it real money and
decision making power and redress lower spend per head in the
North than in London.
The agency and its public sector
partners have committed, in principle, to support this venture
with an investment of around £50 million.
For these reasons and those outlined in my letter
to Tessa Jowell, the NWDA will continue to press for a swift decision
on the BBC's relocation. We understand that through our partner
organisation, Northwest Vision, the Committee may choose to visit
Manchester as part of the enquiry and we look forward to hosting
you here in the Northwest.
Alternatively, if it is not possible for the
committee to visit Manchester, we would be happy to give oral
evidence to your enquiry.
13 October 2005