BBC Northern Ireland efficiency and reinvestment plans
In response to the overall BBC efficiency target of 3% per annum over the five-year period to 2012/13, BBC Northern Ireland today announced the projected closure of approximately 100 staff posts out of the current 670 workforce.
A substantial reinvestment plan in local programmes and services is, however, expected to create new opportunities and is likely to reduce that to a net figure of around 75 posts.
The BBC Northern Ireland targets will be achieved through the implementation of a new, more focused programme strategy to create content of greater impact for audiences. This will be accompanied by a simplification of business processes, the streamlining of management structures and the derivation of additional benefit from new technologies. Interactive services will be integrated more effectively into programme-making.
Following approval from the BBC Trust, the six-year plan will deliver a smaller but fitter organisation. Every part of the BBC will be required to make efficiency savings, with every penny freed up reinvested in high-quality, distinctive content and the way audiences consume it.
BBC Northern Ireland's plans follow overall proposals to reshape the organisation over the next few years to meet challenges including delivering value to all audiences, moving into an on-demand world, delivering innovation and quality, building a digital UK and making the BBC a centre of creative excellence.
The BBC vision up to 2013, Delivering Creative Future, has been rooted in detailed audience research and consultation and has been developed to deliver the BBC's public purposes which rest on three propositions:
- A focus on quality: to provide fewer but better, more innovative and more distinctive programmes.
- A digital step-change: to offer audiences those programmes wherever and whenever they want them.
- A smaller BBC: which will provide the best value for audiences.
Peter Johnston, Controller, BBC Northern Ireland, said that, at a time when Northern Ireland was undergoing rapid change, this presented an opportunity to refocus content, raise sights and ensure that BBC Northern Ireland was fit for the future.
Speaking to staff, he said: "It will be a time of refreshment for our content, talent and infrastructure. I believe under these plans we can make creative life in BBC Northern Ireland more purposeful, simpler and rewarding. New investment into interactivity will enable us to gain more value from the wide range of content we create for Northern Ireland audiences every day.
"It will also entail more network output. Messiah is currently filming in Northern Ireland and next week we will be launching Fairy Tales for transmission in November on BBC One. It is great to see the growing portfolio of Panoramas from our current affairs team and in addition to entertainment we will now be targeting new areas of network output in specialist factual TV including history."
Mr Johnston added: "This is, however, a balance of economies and investment and as always there will be a downside which will involve the closure of posts. We are committed where possible to achieving these through a combination of voluntary redundancy and the retraining and redeployment of staff to new opportunities and vacancies."