Kenneth Gibson has welcomed the BBC’s announcement BBC that it will invest in a new BBC Scotland TV channel based in Glasgow to be on air by the autumn of 2018.
The announcement from BBC Director General Lord Tony Hall confirmed the new channel will include one hour of news and current affairs at 9pm, as well as a broad range of drama and documentary content.
There will be extra funding for BBC Alba and a commitment to greater Scottish output on the BBC network.
“This is welcome news and shows some fresh thinking at the BBC. It means investment in producing quality BBC content for Scottish viewers and an increase in programmes produced in Scotland to be screened across the BBC network.
“The SNP has long called for a new TV channel for Scotland, which can make better use of the wealth of production and journalistic talent in Scotland.
“The investment in journalism and new jobs is particularly welcome and shows that BBC Scotland is well able to edit and produce a quality, nightly news and current affairs programme covering issues from around the world and closer to home.
“This new channel cannot be run on a shoestring though, and funding must match the ambitions of the announcement. We also need to ensure that Scotland actually gets a fair share of the licence fee raised in Scotland. At the moment more than half of the £340 million raised goes south, even after taking into account Scotland’s share of network costs. The more of that resource we can keep in Scotland, the more that can be invested in production, with a commensurate increase in employment and production at BBC Scotland.”