Investment in the Midlands should be at the top of the BBC’s agenda in charter renewal debates, according to a MP from the region.
Politicians and industry leaders have been outraged at investment levels from the state broadcaster, which reinvested only 8.5 per cent of the £942 million Midland families spent on licence fees last year.
Solihull MP Julian Knight plans to speak at the debate – and says the BBC must start to listen to the region.
He said: “We just want to try to get some straight answers out of the BBC in terms of the commitment to the Midlands and what it plans to offer when it comes to the charter renewal.
“From what I have heard from the BBC, it sounds like the same old messages – and that isn’t going to cut the mustard.
“They need to think more about their regional offering to reflect local communities rather than the carve up between London and Manchester which it currently is.
“We want to see this brought to the top of the agenda.”
The Westminster Hall debate was called by Sherwood MP Mark Spencer, who has previously accused the BBC of “short-changing” the Midlands.
For every family paying a licence fee in this region, the BBC spends just £12 while it invests £80 in the North, £122 in Wales and £757 in London.
There are currently no prime-time BBC shows created in the Midlands. Daytime show Doctors and historic radio soap opera The Archers are the feathers in the region’s cap, but business and community leaders say that is not enough.
The BBC is moving hundreds of jobs, largely in HR, to its Mailbox offices, but MPs argue that goes nowhere near enough.