Greens welcome assurance that new BBC channel head to be based in Scotland

The Scottish Greens have welcomed the reassurance given by the BBC Director General today that it is essential for commissioning editors for Scotland to be based in Scotland and that they would be unable to do their job if this was not the case.

This came in response to Green MSP Ross Greer highlighting at Holyrood’s Culture committee that the position of Acting Drama Commissioning Editor, Scotland, based in Glasgow appears to be set for replacement by a Commissioner position advertised as being based in London.

Independent production companies in Scotland have repeatedly raised concerns that such arrangements contribute towards losing out on production contracts in Scotland to southern-based companies more familiar with BBC management, holding back the development of the domestic film and television industry.

Ross Greer MSP, the Scottish Greens’ culture and media spokesperson, said:

“I welcome the reassurance given by Tony Hall and the BBC today and I will write to BBC bosses to clarify that there will be Scotland-based commissioning editors, particularly for drama. That is what the production industry clearly need and is calling for.

“Basing commissioning editors in London for most of the week means they just won’t have the required relationship with the industry in Scotland, which is part of the story behind there being so much ‘lift and shift’ at the moment, where companies operating elsewhere can hire a few desks in Glasgow and win contracts under the Scottish production quota. This is an exciting time for broadcasting and journalism in Scotland and it’s important that the BBC gets this right.”