Director general warns that 1800 staff will not be relocated to Salford if government does not meet licence fee demand

The BBC has warned it will scrap its proposed move to Manchester if the government does not meet its demands for a higher licence fee.

Director General Mark Thompson said the plan to move Five Live and the sports and children’s departments to Salford would be shelved unless a licence fee settlement made it affordable.

He said, “In the event of a low settlement, I would not even be able to recommend it to them. We would find other, more modest, ways of increasing our investment in the North.”

The proposed move would see 1800 London staff moving to Salford with up to 4000 more jobs created further down the supply chain. The departments’ direct annual expenditure on programmes would be £400m while £200m would be spent on production budgets.

The BBC is asking for a licence fee increase of 1.8% over inflation. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is expected to announce the level of increase at the end of the year.