MP: New BBC Scotland TV channel must not be run on ‘shoestring budget’

John Nicolson MP
John Nicolson MP

East Dunbartonshire MP John Nicolson, the SNP’s Culture and Media spokesperson, has welcomed the announcement of investment in a new BBC Scotland TV channel based in Glasgow by Autumn of 2018.

But he warned that it must not be run on a “shoestring budget”, adding that the funding must match the ambitions of today’s (Wednesday, February 22) announcement.

BBC Director General Lord Tony Hall confirmed that the new channel will include an hour-long news and current affairs programme at 9pm, as well as a broad range of drama and documentary content.

There will be extra funding for BBC Alba and a commitment to greater Scottish output on the BBC network.

John Nicolson MP commented: “This is welcome news and shows some fresh thinking at the BBC. It means investment in producing quality BBC content for Scottish viewers and an increase in programmes produced in Scotland to be screened across the BBC network.

“The SNP has long called for a new TV channel for Scotland, which can make better use of the wealth of production and journalistic talent in Scotland.

“The investment in journalism and new jobs is particularly welcome – and shows that BBC Scotland are well able to edit and produce a quality, nightly news and current affairs programme covering issues from around the world – as well as domestically.

“It must be ensured however that this new channel will not be run on a shoestring – and the funding must match the ambitions of today’s announcement. We also need to ensure that Scotland actually gets a fair share of the licence fee that is raised in Scotland, as while today’s announcement will improve the situation it will still leave Scotland trailing behind the other nations of the UK in terms of proportionate investment.”