Today, Munira has raised concerns that the BBC’s current funding pressures could have an impact on the revival of the creative sector following Covid-19.
She argued that the BBC commissions many independent productions. If the BBC decides to fund less of these as a result of funding pressures, this could undermine the wider arts sector as a whole.
This follows the BBC having taken the decision to end free television licences for the over-75s following financial pressures.
Munira raises her concerns in Parliament
Speaking in the House of Commons, Munira asked:
“The Minister rightly recognises the BBC’s amazing covid service. I just want to put on record how invaluable BBC Bitesize has been to my six-year-old daughter and my long-suffering husband who has been home schooling her through the lockdown.
Does the Minister recognise that the BBC is part of a much wider ecosystem in which it commissions a lot of independent production companies?
We know that the creative sector is really suffering and that many jobs are in jeopardy, and does he recognise, therefore, that this continued pressure on BBC funding will put that wider revival of the creative arts sector, in terms of the independent sector, at risk?”
John Whittingdale MP, Minister for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, replied:
“I join the hon. Lady in thanking the BBC for all that it did to maintain educational programming during lockdown.
As for the contribution that it makes to the independent production sector, she is also absolutely right. One thing that I have been concentrating on is trying to help the production sector get back into operation, and we have had frequent meetings with representatives to see how that can be achieved.
I am delighted that most productions are now getting going again, but obviously maintaining and sustaining our production sector right across the country will remain a very important additional role for the BBC.”