Production of the BBC’s long-running drama series Doctors is to remain in Birmingham as the broadcaster revealed wide-ranging plans to boost its out-of-London network programme spending.
And the city will further enhance its position as a centre for gardening programming with production of the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows also coming to Birmingham.
The BBC said it had recommissioned Doctors for a further three years as part of an announcement that it was increasing its out-of-London programme spend to 50 per cent by 2016.
The broadcaster said it wanted to better reflect the diversity of creative talent around the UK and connect with the audience it serves.
Director of BBC Vision Jana Bennett said: “Our intention is nothing less than changing the very DNA of the BBC to bring the production of programmes closer to the audience we serve.
“That means permanently increasing the production and commissioning of programmes outside London.”
She described the plans, which are subject to final funding approval, as a “radical shift in the whole set up of broadcasting.”
The BBC is aiming to grow its out-of-London production in the English regions from 26 per cent now to 33 per cent by 2016 and in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland it has set an interim target of 12 per cent by 2012 with a final target of 17 per cent by 2016.
The broadcaster, which last year spent £300 million outside London, said over the last two years to 2007 the proportion of its spending outside the capital had increased by 15 per cent.
The future of Doctors in Birmingham was thrown into doubt last year, threatening 60 jobs at Drama Village on the University of Birmingham’s campus in Selly Oak.
It was reported the BBC was considering moving production of the show to its new state-of-the art media centre in Salford.
Local MPs joined the campaign to persuade the broadcaster to keep the show in the city in June when Lynne Jones (Lab Selly Oak) and Gisela Stuart (Lab Edgbaston) issued a plea in a House of Commons motion.
Other recent titles produced in Birmingham include Coast and Trawler Men.
The BBC’s new centre in Salford, MediaCityUK, will be the new home to five key departments currently based in London - BBC Children’s, BBC Formal Learning, parts of BBC Future Media & Technology, which includes research and innovation, BBC Five Live and BBC Sport.
Commissioning for CBBC, CBeebies and BBC Sport will move to Salford, meaning for the first time three national channels - CBBC, CBeebies and Five Live, together with BBC Formal Learning and BBC Sport - will be commissioned and delivered outside London.
Scotland will host Question Time and Newsnight Review and become a centre for children’s, comedy, entertainment, drama and factual programming.
Wales will see more drama, documentaries, factual formats and music and may be home to Casualty, which the BBC is exploring the possibility of moving from its current site in the South West.
But the BBC’s plans have attracted criticism from London-based employees, according to reports.
Question Time presenter David Dimbleby is also understood to have expressed “dismay” about proposals to move the flagship political show to Glasgow.
BBC programmes on the move:
• Casualty – is likely to move to Wales
• Imagine – will build up a production base in Scotland in addition to London
• Newsnight Review - moves to Scotland
• Crimewatch - to Wales
• Weakest Link - to Scotland
• Panorama – additional episodes to Northern Ireland
• Question Time - to Scotland
• Saturday Lottery - to Scotland
• Sunday Morning Religion - slot to Northern Ireland
• Hampton Court And Chelsea Flower Shows - to Birmingham
• Motorway Cops - to Scotland