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18 July 2016

GROWING DEMAND FOR STRENGTHENED BBC ALBA CAN REAP AUDIENCE AND ECONOMIC DIVIDENDS

Meeting the growing demand for increased resources for BBC ALBA can deliver for both audiences and the Scottish creative economy, MPs were told today.

MG ALBA – which operates the BBC ALBA in partnership with the BBC – said the opportunity to achieve parity for the Gaelic language channel with Welsh counterpart S4C had the potential to unlock substantial benefits for independent production sector as well as secure the future success of the channel amongst its core audience.

At a parliamentary event held at Westminster today (Monday 18 July), MPs were told about the desire from Gaelic audiences for the new Royal Charter to enshrine a commitment from the BBC to commit to 10 hours of new programming for BBC ALBA per week – up from the current level of 4.2 hours.

This commitment would bring BBC ALBA into line with S4C, which has enjoyed 10 hours of new programming per week from the BBC for the last 30 years.

It would also have a positive knock-on impact for the creative sector, which continues to benefit heavily from BBC ALBA. During 2015-16, BBC ALBA commissioned 454 hours of content from 26 different production companies.

MG ALBA chairperson, Maggie Cunningham, said: “Since the publication of the White Paper on Charter Renewal, we have seen growing momentum gathering behind a fairer deal for BBC ALBA.

“I’m pleased and grateful that MPs from across the political spectrum attended today to hear the compelling reasons why that deal is needed: to serve our audience properly and to boost the production sector in Scotland.

“BBC ALBA is currently allocated 3p of the £12.13 monthly licence fee. By comparison, the BBC spends more than 10 times that on S4C. However, we are not simply asking for more money. Existing BBC resources could and should be used more effectively to deliver for Gaelic audiences.”

Ms Cunningham highlighted last week’s publication of the Scotland Annual Review 2015-16 by the BBC Trust as evidence for the growing demand for improved BBC ALBA content.

Maggie Cunningham continued: “BBC ALBA has been an outstanding success since it launched in 2008 but it is clear that the channel has now reached a juncture where it needs more resources to continue its development. We have a repeat rate of 74% and it needs to be tackled.

“The recent BBC Trust Annual Review report acknowledged that whilst the channel is continuing to outperform viewership targets, it suffers from under-funding which may not be sustainable in the longer term.

“It is our firm belief that one mechanism to address this issue is by increased sharing of content from other BBC departments. We have seen excellent examples such as the Hebrides series that was successful across both BBC ALBA and BBC Scotland.

“This is not to say that BBC ALBA simply requires more content handed down from the main channels - a more responsive system of programme-making within the BBC may allow us to collaborate far easier across a range of genres including children’s programming, music and documentaries. Increasing original content to 10 hours per week does not have to mean a hugely increased pot of cash.”

The success of BBC ALBA’s Gaelic drama Bannan is one of a number of productions to provide a boost to the Highland & Islands creative economy and Ms Cunningham added its success could be built upon if BBC ALBA was strengthened with more original programming.

Ms Cunningham added: “The channel has had a very positive impact on the independent production sector: around half of all independent production commissions in Scotland are made by BBC ALBA and a recent economic impact report confirmed that almost 300 jobs result from MG ALBA’s activities, 40% of which are based in the Highlands and Islands. This includes BBC ALBA drama Bannan which has undertaken the majority of its production on the Isle of Skye.

“We are determined to improve even further on that and we are determined to ensure the next generation of creative talent has a platform to flourish. With a better base of original programming from the BBC for the channel – some of which may be conceived in cooperation with independent producers – there is more scope for enhancing Scotland’s creative sector and the economic benefits that brings.”

18 Iuchar 2016

BUANNACHDAN LUCHD-AMHAIRC AGUS EACONAMACH AN COIS IARRTAS A THA AG ÈIRIGH AIRSON BBC ALBA NAS TREASA

Chaidh innse do Bhuill Pàrlamaid an-diugh (Diluain 18 Iuchar) gun tigeadh buannachdan, an dà chuid airson an luchd-amhairc agus eaconamaidh chruthachail na h-Alba, ann a bhith a’ cur an tuilleadh seilbh ann am BBC ALBA.

Thuirt MG ALBA – a tha a’ ruith BBC ALBA ann an co-bhanntachd leis a’ BhBC – gu faodadh co-ionnanachd leis an t-seanail Chuimreach S4C cothrom buannachdan susbainteach fhuasgladh airson na roinne riochdachaidh neo-eisimeileach a thuilleadh air dìon a chur air soirbheas na seanail san ùine ri teachd am measg am prìomh luchd-amhairc.

Aig tachartas aig Westminster an-diugh, chaidh miann an luchd-amhairc Gàidhlig - gealladh fhaighinn bhon Chairt Rìoghail 10 uairean gach seachdain de phrògraman ùra airson BBC ALBA, suas bhon ìre an-dràsta de 4.2 uairean – a dhèanamh soilleir.

Bheireadh seo BBC ALBA gu co-ionannachd le S4C, a tha air 10 uairean a thìde de phrògraman ùra gach seachdain fhaighinn bhon BhBC thar nan 30 bliadhna a dh’fhalbh.

Bhiodh seo cuideachd a’ ciallachadh buaidh bhrosnachail airson na roinne chruthachail a tha a’ faighinn mòr-bhuannachd bho BhBC ALBA. Tro 2015-16 choimisean BBC ALBA 454 uairean a thìde de phrògraman bho 26 companaidh riochdachaidh eadar-dhealaichte.

Thuirt Cathraiche MG ALBA, Magaidh Choineagan: “Bho chaidh Am Pàipear Geal air ùrachadh a’ Chairt Rìoghail fhoillseachadh, tha sinn air àrdachadh fhaicinn san iomairt airson còrdadh nas cothromaiche airson BBC ALBA.

"Tha mi toilichte agus taingeil gu robh BP bho air feadh nam pàrtaidhean poilitigeach an seo an-diugh gus na h-adhbharan làidir a chluinntinn gu bheil feum air còrdadh: gus ar luchd-amhairc a fhrithealadh gu h-iomchaidh agus gus an roinn riochdachaidh ann an Alba a neartachadh.

“An-dràsta tha BBC ALBA a’ faighinn 3sg bhon chìs-chraolaidh mhìosail de £12.13, fhad ’s a tha am BBC a’ cosg co-dhiù deich uiread air S4C. Chan eil sinn dìreach ag iarraidh an tuilleadh airgid. Bu chòir gu bheil goireasan maireannach a’ BhBC air an cuir gu feum ann an dòigh nas èifeachdaiche gus an luchd-amhairc Gàidhlig a fhrithealadh.”

Bha a’ Bh-uas Choineagan a’ sònrachadh Lèirmheas Bliadhnail na h-Alba 2015-16 a dh’fhoillsich Urras a’ BhBC mar fhianais air iarrtas a tha a’ fàs airson susbaint feabhasach airson BBC ALBA.

Lean i air adhart: “Tha BBC ALBA air sàr-shoirbheas fhaicinn bho thòisich an t-seanail a’ craoladh ann an 2008 ach tha e follaiseach gu bheil an t-seanail air a thighinn gu crois-rathaid far a bheil feum air an tuilleadh ghoireasan gus dèanamh cinnteach gu bheil leasachadh comasach. Tha ìre ath-chraolaidh 74% againn agus feumar rudeigin a dhèanamh mun sin.

“Dh’aithnich Lèirmheas Bliadhnail Urras a’ BhBC, ged a tha an t-seanail a’ dèanamh nas fheàrr buileach na na targaidean luchd-amhairc a chuir sinn romhainn fhèin, gu bheil i a’ fulang bho cion-mhaoineachadh – rud nach fhaodadh a bhith seasmhach san fhad-ùine.”

“Tha sinn làn-chreidsinn gur e aon dòigh fuasgladh fhaighinn air an duilgheadas seo co-roinn a dhèanamh air stuthan bho roinnean eile den BhBC. Tha sinn air eisimpleirean air leth soirbheachail den seo fhaicinn leis an t-sreath Hebrides a bha craolta an dà chuid air BBC ALBA agus BBC Scotland.

"Chan eil sin ag ràdh gu bheil BBC ALBA a’ cur feum a-mhàin air stuthan air fhaighinn bho sheanailean eile – dh’fhaodadh gun dèanadh siostam riochdachaidh nas èasgaidh taobh a-staigh a’ BhBC comasach dhuinn obrachadh thar ghnèithean, leithid prògraman chloinne, ciùil agus aithriseach. Chan eil an t-iarrtas de àrdachadh ann am prògraman gu 10 uairean a thìde gach seachdain a’ ciallachadh gu feumadh meudachadh ana-mhòr a bhith sa mhaoin a tha a dhìth.”

Tha soirbheas dràma Gàidhlig BBC ALBA, Bannan, na fhear de na riochdachaidhean a thug togail do dh’eaconamaidh na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean agus thuirt a’ Bh-uas Choineagan gum b’ urrainn togail air an t-soirbheas seo nam biodh BBC ALBA air a neartachadh leis an tuilleadh phrògraman ùra.

Thuirt a’ Bh-uas Choineagan cuideachd: “Tha buaidh thaiceil air a bhith aig an t-seanail air an roinn riochdaich neo-eisimeileach: tha timcheall air leth de choimiseanan riochdachaidh neo-eisimeileach ann an Alba air an dèanamh le BBC ALBA agus dhearbh aithisg air buaidh eaconamach bho chionn ghoirid gu bheil an ìre mhath 300 cothrom-obrach ann a-nis mar thoradh air gnìomhan MG ALBA, le 40% dhiubh stèidhichte air a’ Ghàidhealtachd agus anns na h-Eileanan. Tha seo a’ gabhail a-steach Bannan, a th’ air a’ mhòr-chuid den riochdachadh aige a dhèanamh san Eilean Sgitheanach.

“Tha sinn daingeann ann a bhith a’ leasachadh seo buileach agus gum bi ùrlar aig an ath ghinealach de thàlant chruthachail. Le bun-stèidh de phrògraman ùra bhon BhBC airson na seanail – cuid a dh’fhaodadh a thigeadh tro cho-obrachadh le riochdairean neo-eisimeileach – tha an tuilleadh chothrom ann cur ri roinn cruthachail na h-Alba agus na buannachdan eaconamach a thig an cois sin”.


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