Pact bolsters new BBC strategy

Last week the director of BBC Vision, Jana Bennett, announced plans to up production spending outside of London to 50% by 2016. Pact's chief executive, John McVay, calls it a long needed move that will create a more culturally diverse BBC.
October 20, 2008

Last Wednesday evening, in a speech entitled ‘Beyond the M25: A BBC for all of the UK,’ director of BBC Vision, Jana Bennett, explained the network’s plans to up program spending outside of London.

Last year the out of London programming spend was up 15% to £300 million. The new strategy is meant to make the beeb better reflect the creative talent all across the UK and connect with the audience, rather than focus in one center.

The trade association representing film and TV producers in the UK, Pact, thinks the strategy is a positive move for UK programming. ‘We are very pleased that the BBC has responded to Pact’s concerns over a number of years regarding the level of production out of London,’ says Pact chief executive John McVay.

Pact is particularly pleased with the appointments of BBC network commissioning executives in other regions dedicated to independent producers, thus giving producers outside of London greater access to the BBC.

Charles Wace, Pact’s Chairman, and chief executive of Plymouth-based prodco Twofour, agrees that this new strategy for the BBC is great news for indies outside of London who have had to struggle for access to commissioners in the past. ‘These posts are a good complement to Pact’s Talent Attraction Scheme as together they will increase opportunities for all producers and thus deliver the diversity and quality of programming that the UK license fee payer deserves,’ he says.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.