Wales politics

'Lamentable' lack of BBC Wales TV programmes in English

Mali Harries stars in the crime drama Hinterland/Y Gwyll
Image caption Crime drama Hinterland/Y Gwyll is made in English and Welsh for the BBC and S4C

The lack of English language TV dramas or comedies for Welsh audiences from BBC Wales is "lamentable", the Welsh government has said.

Its response to consultation on the future of the BBC said it had "real concern" about funding.

In August, First Minister Carwyn Jones called for an extra £30m to be spent on BBC programming for Welsh audiences.

The BBC said it was discussing its plans with devolved governments, but faced a "tough financial challenge."

In its consultation response, the Welsh government said: "We would question how the BBC can deliver on the commitments made to invest in and improve services to the nations - including digital news, education and entertainment services for each Nation - when it has ruled out any net increase in spending and has committed to protecting funding for the nations only to the extent that it will be 'cut less than other areas'.

"We accept that the BBC finds itself in a difficult situation due to cuts in its budget, but these proposals simply raise further questions over its future output in Wales.

"The development of Cardiff as an increasingly important centre for network productions provides no justification for reducing the BBC's investment in local services."

Image caption Carwyn Jones has called for more BBC spending on English language programmes for Wales

The Welsh government added that it was "vital" that Welsh language channel S4C, which receives most of its income from the licence fee, had sufficient funding in future.

A BBC spokesman said: "We are working with the public and devolved governments on how we best meet the aspirations of all audiences across the UK but need to recognise the licence fee settlement means the BBC faces a tough financial challenge.

"We have said we will protect funding for the nations, ensuring they are cut less than other areas, and are committed to improving how we portray and represent the different Nations of the UK on our network services."

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