BBC announces plans to expand local radio offering

Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter
·2-min read

The BBC has announced plans to increase its radio output in the north of England and the Midlands over the winter months.

The corporation is launching three temporary local radio services in Bradford, Wolverhampton and Sunderland with a view to expanding the scheme further if successful.

Each location will be focused on serving a “very local audience” and will distribute content online and through broadcast where possible.

BBC Director General
Tim Davie, director-general of the BBC (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The BBC hopes the new services will cater to parts of the country where people have used its services less.

The announcement comes as part of the broadcaster’s coverage plans for the winter.

A BBC spokesman said: “We’re going to pilot temporary services for Bradford, Sunderland and Wolverhampton in line with our aim to do more for audiences in parts of the country where people use the BBC less than people who live elsewhere.

“The focus will be on local news and information. We have a number of ideas around what this output will be and how it will be delivered. We’ll provide further details in due course.”

Earlier this year, the BBC announced a shake-up of regional TV news and local radio in England, including axing some 450 jobs.

The winter plan also includes a special Bitesize offer for teachers and students covering each of the four nation’s national curricula until the Easter holidays on TV and online.

On New Year’s Eve, a live entertainment show called The Big New Year’s In will run throughout the evening featuring famous faces and a concert.

BBC director-general Tim Davie said: “At a time that is challenging for individuals and every family, the BBC plays a unique role in putting a smile on people’s faces, in helping children with their education, connecting people in local communities, and providing some much needed escapism.

“We are incredibly proud to be going the extra mile this Christmas.”