The biggest effect of the BBC’s move to Salford has been to increase house prices in leafy Cheshire suburbs, rather than to create genuine regional diversity.
That’s the view of one Conservative MP during a debate in the House of Commons on the independence of the Corporation.
Julian Knight MP for Solihull in the West Midlands, a former BBC journalist who declared that declare that” I spent five of my happiest years at the BBC,” claimed that:
When the move was made to Manchester, it was lauded because it would increase regional diversity, but in some respects the corporation saw that as the beginning and the end of the process of attempting to reduce its overdependence on the capital.”
Liz McInnes, MP for Heywood and Middleton, reminded him that
“As a Greater Manchester MP, I feel that the BBC’s move to Salford—not Manchester—has done a lot to improve its diversity, and it is nice to hear a lot of northern accents on the radio these days, which did not use to happen.”
But Mr Knight was having none of it replying that the move to Media City had now created a bipolar organisation.
” I am”, he added, “not jealous of Salford in that it is obviously fantastic for that community. However, I think the BBC thought, when it came up with this process, that its work was done. I would like genuine diversity, including for the nations, as is discussed in the White Paper, but really for the English regions, with the BBC drilling down into local communities to deliver news and content that makes a difference, but also supporting the private sector.”
Tell that to the people of Alderley Edge?