National Audit Office calls for BBC to decentralize music and radio operations

The UK’s National Audit Office has released a report on the progress of the BBC’s ‘Across The UK’ initiative, aiming to allocate an additional £700 million outside of London by March 2028.

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Progress of ATUK Initiative

The report acknowledges some advancements but criticizes the BBC’s strategy as “underdeveloped” with no options appraisal for meeting objectives.

Spending Targets and Achievements

The first phase, ending in March 2023, saw the BBC aiming to move £87.5 million of spending outside of London but only achieving £67.5 million, falling short of the planned 12.5% by transferring 9.6% of the £700 million target.

Allocation of Spending

While 58% of the TV production spend has moved out of London, the majority of money spent on audio programming – 59% – remains in the capital. The BBC aims to shift at least half of its music and radio budget outside London by 2028.

Response from the BBC

Rhodri Talfan Davies, BBC’s Director Of Nations, notes that they met their phase one target for transferring expenditure outside London, and they are confident of delivering their target of 50% of audio production expenditure outside London by 2028.

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