The BBC has announced the launch of a brand new £30m Scottish TV channel, barely a year after culling BBC Three to make savings of £30m.
The new channel, which will broadcast between the hours of 7 pm and midnight, will hit the airwaves in the autumn of 2018. It will feature an hour-long 9 pm news programme focussing on stories from north of the border.
Tony Hall, the BBC Director General, announced the plans to staff during a visit to BBC Scotland headquarters at Pacific Quay, Glasgow. He also pledged an increase of £20m in the amount spent on original Scottish drama and factual programming.
The as yet unnamed channel will replace Scottish programmes currently shown on BBC Two.
In a statement, Hall said: "I said at the beginning of the year that the BBC needed to be more creative and distinctive. The BBC is Britain’s broadcaster, but we also need to do more for each nation just as we are doing more for Britain globally.
"We know that viewers in Scotland love BBC television, but we also know that they want us to better reflect their lives and better reflect modern Scotland. It is vital that we get this right. The best way of achieving that is a dedicated channel for Scotland.
"The additional investment in Scottish drama and factual programming rightly recognises both the need to do more across our output and the huge pool of talent available in Scotland. We do make great programmes here, such as Shetland, Britain’s Ancient Capital – Secrets of Orkney, Two Doors Down and the brilliant Still Game – but we do need to do more."
|Nicola Sturgeon MSP: Coming to a TV channel near you.|
The Scottish Government has long be campaigning for increased BBC investment in Scotland.
Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: "While the increased investment in both journalism and wider production in Scotland is long overdue, this is a very positive development. [It is] vital that the new BBC Scotland channel has complete commission and editorial independence, and is provided with the funding needed to match ambition."
The introduction of the new channel will mean that almost three-quarters of Scottish TV licence revenue will be spent on programmes aimed at the Scottish audience.
If you've found this article useful please share it with your friends and consider using our Amazon referral link for your shopping.