“This is the place to be” says director-general.
The BBC have hit back at accusations that they are reducing their commitment to the Midlands by announcing an expansion in digital broadcasting at their Birmingham studios in the Mailbox. A total of 81 jobs will be created as a result of a £23.5 million investment programme under the corporation’s Project England initiative, which aims to bring together BBC hubs in Salford, Bristol and Manchester. Amongst the plans that the BBC will be implementing in Birmingham will be The Space, a digital arts partnership with the Arts Council and a new digital innovation team, working with the Creative City Partnership in order to reach out to younger, more diverse audiences. The organisation’s Outreach and Corporate Social Responsibility team will also be moving to Birmingham while training and apprenticeships will be run from the city.
BBC director-general Tony Hall announced the news to a gathering of Mailbox staff earlier today. He said, “I want to make Birmingham a really exciting and important part of what we do. This is just the start – but make no mistake, if you’re interested in new skills and digital innovation, this is the place to be.”
Commenting on the news Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham – which drives inward investment to the Birmingham area – said: “This is welcome news from the BBC and underlines Birmingham’s growing reputation as a home of innovation, talent and a world class digital sector. Its commitment will help us attract the interest of new investors and give existing ones confidence that Birmingham is the place to grow their companies.
“Birmingham already has one of the UK’s best performing digital economies with 6,099 tech firms employing 38,300 people and delivering £768m to the regional economy.
“The city is well placed to grow its digital sector. According to a recent Business Birmingham survey, 70% of London tech firms have struggled to grow in the capital due to soaring costs, a struggle to recruit and a property squeeze. Birmingham’s lower cost base, large talent pool, flexible office space, proximity to London and supportive digital community make it the ideal destination for ambitious digital firms looking to grow.”