Scotland and Northern Ireland to create more BBC network radio content

The BBC is moving more Radio 3, Radio 4 and World Service radio shows out of London with new network hubs in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Scotland will see the arrival of BBC World Service’s World Book Club and Radio 3’s Jazz Record Requests, alongside 50 annual episodes of Radio 4’s flagship arts programme Front Row and 12 episodes of Loose Ends.

Scotland will also become the home of BBC Audio’s production of Radio 4’s books and readings programming, and Radio 4’s Pick of the Week will move to Belfast.   

The new unit, with around 30 posts, gives the teams across Scotland and Northern Ireland opportunities for collaboration, career progression and to work on a broader range of output, the BBC says. It will be led by a new Head of Production and launch in April 2024.

It’s all part of the BBC’s Across the UK plan whic is centred around moving shows, talent, teams, and content away from London to allow the BBC to better reflect, represent and serve all audiences.   

Graham Ellis, Controller of BBC Audio says: “As part of our plans to create vibrant BBC Audio hubs in all the devolved nations, we can bring more investment to Scotland and Northern Ireland. We will be increasing the volume of network radio content that will be produced in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and I look forward to working with our colleagues to make the new unit a success. We all have proud and distinct traditions of creative programme making but by coming together we complement and strengthen each other.”    

Mohit Bakaya, BBC Director of Speech Audio says: “The BBC broadcasts some of best audio content in the world, and I’m delighted that we’ll have more BBC Radio programmes coming from Scotland and Northern Ireland in the future. This will help us to increase the range of voices we feature on air and the creative ideas we pursue in order to improve the quality of our programming and better reflect the country we live in.”

Steve Carson, Director of BBC Scotland says: “The creation of this unit recognises the importance of representation and portrayal and the importance of developing new talent Across the UK. I’m excited about the opportunities this could create for our teams in Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Adam Smyth, Director of BBC Northern Ireland says: “We want to maximise the contribution that our local teams make to BBC network programmes and services – showcasing their skills and finding new ways to bring Northern Ireland stories, talent and ideas to a UK wide audience.” 

Last year,BBC Audio’s new Wales and West of England production hub opened, following a partnership agreement with BBC Cymru Wales.