Select Committee on BBC Charter Review Minutes of Evidence


Letter from the Northwest Regional Development Agency ("NWDA")

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



 
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