BBC unveils plans to turn Birmingham base into “digital innovation” hub

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BBC director general Tony Hall has unveiled plans to make the Midlands a hub for “digital innovation”, under proposals to increase the Corporation’s activities in the region.

The news follows a campaign launched earlier this year – backed by Julie Walters – that was aimed at seeing the Midlands used more by broadcasters and production companies.

Hall said Mailbox, the BBC’s base in Birmingham, would become the home for digital arts platform The Space, an initiative the BBC is working on with Arts Council England.

In addition, he said the Birmingham team would “make a substantial contribution to the BBC’s Shakespeare season in 2016”.

Hall also revealed plans for a new digital innovation team to be developed in Birmingham, which he said would work with local talent to “tell stories differently and produce content in a whole new way”.

“I want to make Birmingham a really exciting and important part of what we do. This is just the start – but make no mistake, if you’re interested in new skills and digital innovation, this is the place to be,” Hall said.

BBC North director Peter Salmon has been tasked with leading the project, which the BBC said would create 81 jobs. This will include 69 jobs moving from London and seven from Salford.