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BBC to expand in Manchester

CBBC, Sport and BBC3 could move there! (September 2004)

SP
Spencer (previously Spencer For Hire) Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
From Media Guardian...
Quote:
The BBC's plan to move some of its operations staff from London to Manchester will not be window-dressing and could involve several departments including children's TV, sport and BBC3.

Having a large presence outside the capital was one of the centrepieces of the former director general Greg Dyke's charter renewal proposals and BBC insiders involved in the planning said "a lot more than people expect" will be moved.

Informed sources said it was "very likely" that Children's BBC, which makes shows including flagship shows Newsround and Blue Peter and runs digital kids' channels CBBC and CBeebies, will be one of the single biggest departments to move.

BBC Sport, online and interactive, and digital youth service BBC3 are understood to be the other departments earmarked for the move to Manchester.

The BBC spends 114m annually on children's programmes, 321m on sport and 66m on online and interactive, while BBC3's annual budget is nearly 100m.

Senior BBC executives want to turn Manchester into a centre for children's and youth programming and content.

However, there are understood to be at least three different plans under consideration for the Manchester move and the BBC is not expected to unveil its formal proposals until late October at the earliest.

BBC sources have confirmed that the CBBC move is "very likely", although nothing is formally agreed yet.

Executives within CBBC said they have had meetings with Peter Salmon, director of BBC Sport, and Pat Loughrey, director of nations and regions, who are overseeing plans for the Manchester move.

They expect it will take place only after careful planning, in five or six years' time, and coincide with a major property development to create new premises in Manchester for the BBC, which is based at offices on Oxford Road in the city.

CBBC is unusual within the BBC in that it is a largely self contained department, currently based at BBC Television Centre in west London, which commissions, produces and acquires programmes.

In other programming genres, responsibility for commissioning, production and acquisitions is split between different departments.

Moving CBBC to Manchester would therefore help to head off criticism that the move was just a token gesture.

CBBC also makes some of the BBC's schools and educational programmes and schedules blocks of afternoon programmes on BBC1 and on BBC2 in the mornings.

The controller of CBBC, Dorothy Prior, oversees nearly 9,000 hours of output a year for pre-school digital channel CBeebies and CBBC, which is aimed at six- to 12-year-olds.

CBBC is responsible for a substantial amount of studio-based production, from Blue Peter to the magazine programme X Change, live presentation including animation, and continuity announcements.

The department produces programming across all the main genres, including drama, factual, comedy, entertainment and news.

Children's programming accounts for more than 2,000 hours of output on BBC1 and BBC2 each year, plus 664 hours of education for children.

This makes up around 11% of output on the two channels, making children's the fourth largest programming genre.

CBBC is also heavily involved with interactive output, while BBC Learning is preparing to roll out a broadband-based digital curriculum for school children.

Manchester is also geographically closer to BBC Scotland's base in Glasgow, which is the corporation's only other in-house children's production centre.

At the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival last weekend, in response to questions, BBC director general Mark Thompson said: "We're looking at a big shift, of big important players, broadcasting as well as production. We are focussing on the north of England, the BBC does nothing like enough there."


This makes a refreshing change after so much news of ITV scaling down its studios outside London!
CD
cdukjunkie
Cheers for that mate Laughing

Not too sure about this move out of London though! Confused
PC
Philip Cobbold Central (West) Midlands Today
What is the point in building a large new complex in Manchester, when the BBC are closing down Pebble Mill, which could quite easily have been modernised to provide space for these services at a much lower cost than building a complete new complex in Manchester.
AP
AdamP
Philip Cobbold posted:
What is the point in building a large new complex in Manchester, when the BBC are closing down Pebble Mill, which could quite easily have been modernised to provide space for these services at a much lower cost than building a complete new complex in Manchester.


Because Pebble Mill was falling down, and it's actually cheaper to build a new place.
DA
Dan Founding member
AdamP posted:
Philip Cobbold posted:
What is the point in building a large new complex in Manchester, when the BBC are closing down Pebble Mill, which could quite easily have been modernised to provide space for these services at a much lower cost than building a complete new complex in Manchester.


Because Pebble Mill was falling down, and it's actually cheaper to build a new place.


...and Birmingham's not exactly in the north of England, is it?
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Spencer For Hire posted:
This makes a refreshing change after so much news of ITV scaling down its studios outside London!


Just another excuse to put up the licence fee.
BN
Breakfast News
I've always felt that Sport and News should merge - but stay in London, and be more independant like CBBC.
AP
AdamP
Brekkie Boy posted:
Spencer For Hire posted:
This makes a refreshing change after so much news of ITV scaling down its studios outside London!


Just another excuse to put up the licence fee.


How do you work that out, considering how much cheaper it is to employ people outside London?
DA
DAS Founding member
AdamP posted:
Brekkie Boy posted:
Spencer For Hire posted:
This makes a refreshing change after so much news of ITV scaling down its studios outside London!


Just another excuse to put up the licence fee.


How do you work that out, considering how much cheaper it is to employ people outside London?


Come on, that statement needs no justification. It's the TV Forum equivalent of library pictures:

- "BBC One / television / my life / society (delete as appropriate) has been ruined by Lorraine Heggessey"
- "Yet another waste of the licence payer's money"
- "It's yet another example of dumbing down"
SE
Square Eyes Founding member
Don't know why people compare everything the BBC do to the situation at ITV. It's hardly a fair comparison.

The BBC are guaranteed year on year funding, they know exactly how much they're going to have in the coffers and can empire build ivory towers off the back of the tax payer for years on end, regardless of recession, downturn in advertising, ratings and market forces.

ITV don't compare themselves to the BBC, they're more interested in the commercial competition and the growing threat of multi-channel TV eroding away at their market share and subsequent advertising income.

If everything whittles down to a comparison between ITV and BBC then there at least needs to be a level playing field. Otherwise it's an invalid argument.
IS
Inspector Sands
Surely this is an old story. It was an idea of Greg Dyke and was ressurected a few months ago during the charter review/annual report period.

God knows why The Guardian have suddenly published it again
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
AdamP posted:
Brekkie Boy posted:
Spencer For Hire posted:
This makes a refreshing change after so much news of ITV scaling down its studios outside London!


Just another excuse to put up the licence fee.


How do you work that out, considering how much cheaper it is to employ people outside London?


They'll need the set up costs though - and any subsequent saving won't be passed on to viewers!

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