The next chair of the culture, media and sport select committee will be named on Wednesday – and already pressure is rising to make the BBC invest more fairly.
Five Tory MPs – Damian Green, Jason McCartney, Graham Stuart, Jesse Norman and Damian Collins – are in the running for the role which is set to be announced on Wednesday, June 17.
While the BBC reinvests about 50 per cent or more in every other UK region, more than £9 out of every £10 raised in the Midlands is spent elsewhere – and business and community leaders in the region have demanded action.
Birmingham MP Gisela Stuart, who has long campaigned for a fairer share of BBC investment to come to the Midlands, said she will be lobbying the new chair for change as soon as he is in place.
Mrs Stuart (Lab Edgbaston) said: “I will certainly be keeping a close eye on who becomes the next chair of the Culture select committee and will be making the case for the regionalisation of the BBC.”
A total of £942 million was paid into the BBC by Midland families last year through the licence fee.
However, only 8.5 per cent of that was invested in the region – less than it spends in London in 12 days.
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.
Presently, no prime-time television is made in the region – which has a similar population to the Netherlands – and campaigners and MPs say it is vital that production returns to the area.
BBC executives have been silent on that, but have announced more HR roles moving to Birmingham.
In all, about 300 jobs are being moved to the Mailbox.