MPs are set to debate years of under-investment by the BBC in the Midlands in a special debate in Parliament tomorrow.
Politicians from the East and West Midlands have vowed to hold the state broadcaster to task over investment levels in the region being far lower than the rest of the UK.
While the Midlands accounts for more than a quarter of the BBC’s licence fee income, the broadcaster invests little more than two per cent of its spending.
City MP Richard Burden said while the BBC had announced it was shifting some HR operations to Birmingham, it still requires a fundamental shift for investment levels to match the rest of the UK.
In 2014, each £145.50 licence fee-payer in this region saw just £12.40 returned to the Midlands, compared to £757 in London.
Mr Burden (Lab Northfield) said: “The debate next Tuesday will give the chance to MPs in the West Midlands and East Midlands to raise the inequality of funding. It will help raise the profile of this in Parliament.”
He added: “I don’t have a problem with the HR thing – the more jobs the BBC creates at the Mailbox the better – but the key thing is that local spend.
“That is only going to improve with sufficient commissioning taking place, and there is an awful lot further to go.
“Tony Hall has been better than some of the others on this matter but there is a lot longer to go, as your campaign has shown.”
Industry and community leaders have criticised the BBC after only £80 million was invested in the Midlands last year, compared to £942 million raised through licence fees.
The BBC has responded by shifting largely HR jobs to the Mailbox, but Mr Burden believes that is not enough.
The Westminster Hall debate takes place at 4.30pm on Tuesday after being called by Mark Spencer, Conservative MP for Sherwood in Nottinghamshire.
The Post is campaigning for half of the money raised in licence fees to be re-invested in the Midlands.
Mr Spencer has been a vocal critic of present investment levels, previously telling the Post: “Clearly, we have been short-changed.”
Meanwhile, Mr Burden welcomed new culture, media and sport select committee chair Jesse Norman.
Mr Norman (Con Hereford South) emerged victorious from a five-man ballot, having previously pledged to give concerns over Midland investment levels a “proper hearing”.
Mr Burden said: “If Jesse Norman has raised this point then that is good. I think this is something the DCMS select committee will want to look at.
“Charter renewal is coming up and they are certainly going to want to have something to say about that.
“Certainly we want to see something done about whether different regions get a fair crack of the whip.”
In all, about 300 jobs will shift to the Mailbox, after the broadcaster recently announced it was “insourcing” 100 HR positions.
A BBC spokesperson said 78 per cent of people in the Midlands say they approve of the BBC.