Impact in Scotland is not just creative

By Hamish Mackay

BBC Scotland controller John McCormick has gone on a PR offensive to emphasise that the corporation has evidence to back its economic, and not just its creative, impact on Scotland.

With its budget doubled in five years to £169m, resulting in a 44 per cent increase in staffing to 1,442, McCormick said an independent economic survey showed BBC Scotland had generated a further 2,000 jobs indirectly through freelance and independent contracts, pumping the equivalent of £177m into the Scottish economy.

And he said the corporation would be seeking planning permission for its proposed £127m state-of-the-art headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow within the next few weeks.

It is planned that the new HQ will be operational by the end of 2006 and the BBC is revising an 18-month-old planning specification, as well as the £127m budget, because it does not want to make changes once the plans are in the public domain.

McCormick said: “We have to get the planning application and spec absolutely right. I want to make sure that by 2006 we will be in Pacific Quay with new technology and a new production centre.

The BBC could be joined at Pacific Quay by Channel 4, which is expected to move its Scottish operation to the same site.

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