Wales politics

BBC Wales needs extra £30m for quality content, say AMs

BBC Wales and S4C drama Hinterland
Image caption Hinterland was the first BBC drama in both English and Welsh

An assembly inquiry has backed calls for the BBC to invest an extra £30m in Welsh services.

The communities, equality and local government committee said the cash was crucial to continue making "high quality content for Wales".

AMs examining the potential impact on Wales of BBC charter renewal negotiations said the BBC had fallen short of its obligations in Wales.

BBC Wales said it was looking at the recommendations.

First Minister Carwyn Jones previously said BBC Wales should be given an extra £30m to make TV programmes that properly reflect the people of Wales.

A report from the committee supported the Welsh government's call.

It said: "We believe that this investment is crucial for high-quality content for Wales to continue to be made."

Committee chairwoman Christine Chapman said: "It is about a greater diversity of programmes. We feel at the moment it could be rather narrow."

'Fallen short'

The report said Welsh audiences consumed a greater proportion of BBC services than those in other nations and regions of the UK.

A lack of plurality in the media in Wales means the public "is dependent on the BBC to a greater degree than the rest of the UK", particularly with news.

The report said: "Given this unique position, it is incumbent on the BBC to ensure that its output reflects the diversity of Welsh life and culture.

"It is in this regard that we believe the BBC has fallen short of its obligations."

It also called for a move to a federal structure, with greater power and responsibility transferred to BBC Wales enabling it to have greater editorial control over commissioning and decision-making.

The committee said, given the scale of the funding cuts to date, future funding for S4C was at a minimum, sustained at current levels.

In a statement, BBC Wales said: "This is a comprehensive report, which covers a number of important themes and subjects relating to broadcasting in Wales and we will be looking closely at the recommendations over the coming months."

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