Three quarters of London-based staff at Radio 1’s Newsbeat service have declined to relocate to a new base in Birmingham.
The BBC has been under political pressure to move more production outside London to better represent the whole of the UK. They are also undergoing a large restructure to deal with cuts due to government reductions to the licence fee.
Sources within the BBC have revealed that three quarters of Newsbeat staff have declined a move to Britain’s second city. One reason cited by employees is a reduction in salary as they will lose their London-weighting on their wages.
West Midlands mayor, Andy Street, said: “I understand some in London have tough decisions to make following the BBC’s announcement, but I won’t accept the sneering at our wonderful region. If you don’t want to come, don’t. We have incredible young and diverse talent that will be all too happy to take your place.”
Staff that stay in London will be offered other roles, however there have been questions regarding the suitability of jobs offered. It has also been reported that there have been issues with integrating some of the disability access schemes offered by the BBC.
Birmingham World went to Centenary Square to hear the views on the Newsbeat move.
Here’s what you said about the BBC Newsbeat snub
Emma, who works at HSBC, said: “So HSBC decided to move their UK office to Birmingham about four years ago because Midland Bank was HSBC’s entry into the UK and so it was going back to the roots of the Midlands.
“And the big building, where it is based (on Broad Street) is purposely built for the office. Quite a lot of people in the region and London now work out of the building - it’s been good.
“People have been surprised at how fun it is and what the place has to offer. It’s also very accessible. It’s very easy to get around.”
Proud Brummie Louise said: “There’s nothing wrong with Birmingham. I don’t know why they would refuse to come. They’re just stuck in their ways in London, I guess.
Dave, who loves Birmingham, said: “I think Birmingham gets a bad press. People look down their nose at Birmingham.£
Jane said: “I’ve lived here all my life, I was born here. I think it’s a shame because they’re missing out on so much.
“I know of people that have been working in London who have move to the Midlands because it’s better, cheaper and easier to commute from Birmingham to London, than it is just outside London to London.
“It’s a shame for them. They’re missing out on a treat.”
Exchange students from Norway Liza and Selina said: “We love it, we think it’s great.
“It’s a beautiful city. It’s got its rough edges, but overall it’s great. We like the people here. Amazing buildings, the culture - it’s got everything.”
Jane said: “It’s a wonderful, friendly city and it’s got so much incredible culture and heritage.
“It’s a welcoming city with lots of diversity, people from lots of different parts of the world. So you can be in Birmingham and feel at home. But you can also feel like Birmingham is in the world.
“If we’re going to be global Britain it starts here in Birmingham.”
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