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Dear friends,

I have received some exciting news about the BBC's plans to locate their centre for UK-wide skills and talent development in Birmingham. You can read their note on the plans below;

Today we are announcing that we will make Birmingham our centre for UK-wide skills and talent development - moving another 100 jobs here. This means The BBC Academy, our staff and industry-wide training division, will move to the city next year, alongside core teams from our HR and Internal Comms areas. Training is the backbone of the BBC and crucial to our success across every area of output, from drama to digital, natural history to news. The BBC Academy has many strong external partners as well as a huge internal network of activity, so this move will generate a large amount of new opportunities for the region too. The BBC Academy is the biggest single trainer for the UK's broadcast industry and our aim over the next few years is to work will local groups to increase the talent base in the Birmingham and the West Midlands - one of Britain's liveliest, youngest and most diverse areas. These 100 jobs will complement the 90 new roles announced late last year - including the BBC's newest Digital Innovation Unit for Digbeth, The Space, a £7m a year digital partnership with Arts Council England, plus BBC recruitment and apprenticeship schemes. They join existing teams already based in Birmingham – working across news, current affairs, drama, radio, online plus our strong regional and local units. As part of these changes, my own role will change from Director BBC North to Director, England with a broader remit set by the BBC Director General to nurture talent and ideas across the country and foster closer relations with our partners. Over the last few years the BBC has helped develop a stronger broadcasting community in Salford and the North of England. Now I’m looking forward to working with BBC teams from our key bases in Birmingham and Bristol to forge better links with our audiences, develop the careers and capabilities of our own people and ensure we have a thriving future. You can read the full press release about today’s announcements here: I hope we get a chance to meet and discuss our plans over the coming months, though I imagine you will all know our BBC Birmingham Head of Region, David Jennings and Head of Business Development, Tommy Nagra. Both of them would be happy to answer any further questions. We are really pleased to have this opportunity to put Birmingham back on the BBC map - central to our plans again - with this new announcement. The Dance Partnership film I link to at the end of this note says it all... LOOKING JUST AHEAD... Though the bulk of our new Birmingham recruits will work from our Mailbox HQ, our Digital Innovation Unit will be based at Fazeley Studios, situated at the heart of the new creative quarter in Digbeth, working with Birmingham’s Creative City Partnership. In November this year some of the biggest names from the urban music scene will be in Birmingham to perform at BBC Radio 1Xtra Live. For the first time the station’s flagship event will held in one city for one big, special event on the 15th November. BBC Birmingham continues to produce strong BBC programming on a weekly basis from the Archers, The Asian Network, Doctors, Regional and Local News programmes. This evening on Midlands Today we are broadcasting an inspiring film which celebrates the artistic life of the city and region - a collaboration between BBC Birmingham and the Birmingham International Dance Festival. Watch the film here:


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