BBC responds to concerns over NW commitment

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood MLA. DER1719GS-019
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood MLA. DER1719GS-019

The BBC said it remains “fully committed” to programmes from and about the North West, following concerns raised by SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood.

Foyle MLA Mr Eastwood had called on the BBC to demonstrate its commitment to the North West by decentralising jobs to the region.

The Foyle MLA said that many were concerned that cancelling Sean Coyle’s show is the beginning of running down services outside Belfast. He said: “As a public broadcaster, BBC Northern Ireland has a responsibility to ensure that it reflects the diverse community that it serves. There are concerns however, following the decision to cancel Sean Coyle’s show, about the organisation’s commitment to voices and services in the North West.

“There is a world outside the greater Belfast area and the BBC should not shy away from reflecting that in their corporate decision making.”
He said it was “staggering” there were only 30 staff here out of 600 staff in the north.

A BBC Spokesperson said: “We remain fully committed to providing BBC programmes from and about the North West, including output on BBC Radio Ulster. We have made a significant recent investment in our studio facilities in Foyle and know the value that audiences attach to the station’s programming. BBC services seek to reflect and engage with audiences across the region and our team at BBC Radio Foyle play an important part in this work – something that we are celebrating with a range of programming and events in the station’s 40th year.”