Wales politics

BBC job cuts: Welsh Government 'extremely concerned'

Broadcasting House

The Welsh Government has said it was "extremely concerned" over news of 27 job cuts in Wales by the BBC's production arm, BBC Studios.

Welsh Language Minister Alun Davies has written to the corporation seeking assurances over the future of factual and drama production in Wales.

BBC Studios has announced plans to cut about 300 staff across the UK.

Its director Mark Linsey said the proposals will help "provide even greater value to licence fee payers".

BBC Studios is a recent created division of the BBC which encompasses its in-house TV programme making in genres such as drama, factual and entertainment.

'Significant scaling back'

Mr Davies, who has responsibility for the Welsh Government's broadcasting policy, said: "I was extremely concerned to learn of this announcement and its implications for the BBC in Wales, especially the loss of 27 jobs."

The minister said he supported the Bectu union as it seeks assurances the redundancies will be achieved through voluntary means.

In a letter to BBC Director General Lord Hall, Mr Davies said: "Throughout the BBC Charter Review process, the Welsh Government has expressed concern about the BBC Studios proposal.

"We are not persuaded that a significant scaling back of BBC in-house production - which may well be the outcome of an entirely market driven approach to commissioning within the BBC - would be beneficial overall."

'Secure future'

Mark Linsey, director of BBC Studios, said: "A strong, creative and competitive BBC Studios is crucial to maintaining the BBC's role as one of the world's great programme makers and ensuring that in-house production at the BBC has a secure future.

"With the removal of an in-house guarantee, we need to be able to develop programmes and projects for a variety of broadcasters, and compete effectively for the finest talent.

"The changes announced [on Thursday] will help us to reshape in response to a new landscape and provide even greater value to licence fee payers."

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