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Paisley calls for equality for Scots at BBC

4th March 2010

This week, well known Scots writer Janet Paisley has called on cultural and language groups to urge equality for the Scots language at the BBC. In a statement to the Cross Party Group on the Scots Language in the Scottish Parliament, and to other bodies, Paisley drew attention to the BBC Strategy Review published on 1 March 2010. The BBC Trust has asked for responses to this Review to be sent in by 25 May 2010.  Scotland currently provides around 9% of BBC income from licence fees – about £340 million – but only receives 3.7% of BBC spending – or £130 million. As Paisley points out, only 2.7% of UK network programming is made in Scotland, even though the BBC committed in 2006 to delivering at least 9% network programmes from Scotland by 2016. Paisley also pointed out that there is currently no commitment to the Scots language in Scotland, though the BBC has done so for Gaelic, and for Ulster Scots. Paisley commented that there is a need for a “positive strategy for local and network provision for the Scots language to reflect its status as Britain’s second largest indigenous language, and support its speakers in Scotland, through the UK and beyond.”  The BBC Trust response to the Review has stated a need to “reflect parts of the UK to the whole and serve specific areas with content that meets their needs and interests.”  Paisley stated that the BBC needs to commit itself to Scots-medium programming for the Scots-speaking license fee payer in Scotland, and has urged organisations to impress this upon the BBC.

If you would like to send any comments or response in support of Scots to the BBC Review please e-mail or write to:

Strategy Review Consultation,

BBC Trust, 180 Great Portland Street,

London W1W 5QZ.

Download the BBC Strategy Review in pdf form below: