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SNP write to BBC Scotland head amid fears of London ‘takeover’

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THE SNP have written to the head of BBC Scotland amid fears that staff have been “blindsided” by proposals for a London “takeover” over Scottish studios.

The BBC south of the Border is looking at taking over part of the Scottish operations which help make programmes like Reporting Scotland and The Nine, The National revealed earlier this week.

Figures in the industry are worried that the move may lead to dozens of job losses at the Glasgow HQ and cause wider damage to Scotland’s TV sector.

In a letter to Steve Carson, head of BBC Scotland, the SNP’s media spokesperson at Westminster John Nicolson said he had been approached by staff who fear job losses and an impact on the sector’s post-Covid recovery.

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“I understand that Studioworks, which is scheduled to take over the landmark studio Kelvin Hall this autumn, is also in discussions regarding a possible takeover of Studio A at Pacific Quay,” he told Carson. “Moreover, it is my understanding that the top management team at BBC Scotland were rather blindsided by this proposal from management in London.”

Nicolson said he believes Studioworks has made no commitment to using BBC Scotland staff, writing that if this were to happen “it would have significant implications both at BBC Scotland and within Scotland’s wider creative sector”.

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The MP sought several answers from the corporation – asking for clarification on whether the studio spaces would be managed from London, whether there would be job implications, if Scottish management was consulted and if BBC Scotland has a veto over the eventual outcome.

“The issue is not what studio space there is, but how it is used,” he said. “It is vitally important to the sector that it is primarily staffed by those living in Scotland.”

Earlier this week the director-general was also asked whether the channel’s flagship Scottish soap will be affected by “cost efficiency” plans.

There is concern the plan could extend from the two Pacific Quay studios to the soap’s studio in Dumbarton.

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