In the face of many challenges, 2011/12 can be seen to have been a strong one for the BBC financially.
It has put the organisation in excellent shape to deliver on its future challenges, specifically:
We have committed through Delivering Quality First to deliver £700million per annum of sustainable savings by the end of 2016/17, equivalent to 20% of what we currently spend. This will enable us to take over funding through the licence fee of BBC World Service, BBC Monitoring and S4C and to support local TV channel development as well as the roll-out of broadband in the UK. In total these new commitments are equivalent to 16% of our 2011/12 costs. An additional 4% of savings will provide a reinvestment fund to enable us to keep pace with the latest technology and meet ever more demanding audience expectations. All this will have to be achieved with a licence fee frozen until 2016/17 and in an uncertain economic climate with inflation remaining high.
Putting together a plan to deliver these savings, whilst minimising the impact on our audiences, will demand some difficult choices. That is why we are focusing spend on our five editorial priority areas:
In line with this, we have chosen to broadly maintain current levels of spending on BBC One, BBC Radio 4, CBBC and Cbeebies. We will reduce spending on the BBC Two daytime schedule, and focus the remit of BBC Four on science and the arts.
A key feature of the programme is that support areas of the BBC will make disproportionately higher savings of 25% by 2016/17, in order to protect our programme-making divisions as far as possible. We will also seek to further reduce our property footprint by a third and ultimately vacate West London entirely. This process will begin in 2013 with our exits from TVC and the original White City building. By moving our London-based journalists into New Broadcasting House we will also provide new opportunities to share facilities and material between domestic and international teams, increasing the efficiency of both.
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