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Statement from Maggie Cunningham

22 February 2017


Maggie Cunningham, chair of MG ALBA – which operates BBC ALBA in partnership with the BBC – issued the following statement in response to the BBC’s announcement regarding support for Gaelic broadcasting.

She said: “Lord Hall’s declaration of support for Gaelic broadcasting recognises the integrity of BBC ALBA and reflects the views of both the UK and Scottish Governments which have stated unequivocally that our channel should have sustained support given the success it has enjoyed.

“We welcome the commitment to providing a weekend news service on BBC ALBA, something which viewers have sought. We also welcome the stated aim for the new BBC Scotland channel to ‘support the delivery of extra programmes for BBC ALBA’.

“What we need to do now is work constructively and collaboratively with the BBC to clarify how this extra programming will materialise. We consistently asked the BBC for a contribution of ten hours per week of programming as part of the Charter Review so further discussions with the BBC will be necessary to ascertain what exactly is being proposed and how it will be funded.

“The channel needs new original programming and a significant reduction in repeats in order to thrive. BBC ALBA has proved to be a Scottish broadcasting success story over the last eight years and we are committed to building on that success.”