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Campaigners call on BBC’s Tony Hall to increase TV production in Midlands

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Campaigners calling for more television production in the Midlands have written an open letter to the BBC’s new director general, highlighting the Corporation’s “astonishing retrenchment” from the region.

The letter is from those involved in the Campaign for Regional Broadcasting Midlands, which was formed earlier this year in response to fears the BBC is neglecting the area. It is addressed to Tony Hall, the BBC’s new director general, as he prepares to visit the BBC in the Midlands today (April 12).

It states: “We would like to see a much more active engagement with licence fee payers and what is left of the Corporation’s workforce across the Midlands. This is vitally important to the region and for the BBC because so much licence fee income is raised here.”

The letter adds that the region is not seeing a fair share of the licence fee spent there, and adds that this “damages our regional economy and it creates the impression that the BBC has very little interest in us”.

It goes on to reiterate the campaign’s calls to see Birmingham turned into a “centre of excellence” for radio drama, and adds that the drama production facilities at Selly Oak should be “given the opportunity to produce high-quality Midlands-based drama for the national peak-time schedules”.

It concludes: “We also hope that you take a close look at the BBC’s astonishing retrenchment from the Midlands and find ways to re-build a mutually beneficial programme-making presence in the region.”