Scottish Digital Network on first agenda between Scottish and UK Ministers

THE Scottish Government remains so committed to the creation of a digital TV channel showcasing Scottish content that it was on the agenda for the first meeting between Scots Culture minister, Fiona Hyslop, and her newly-appointed counterpart at Westminster.

Speaking after the launch of Creative Scotland – the new arts body set up from the merger of the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen – at Edinburgh Printmakers today, Hyslop confirmed to allmediascotland that the proposal to introduce a Scottish Digital Network was still very much ‘on the table’.

Said Hyslop: “Indeed, I have already raised that [Scottish Digital Network] as an issue with Ed Vaizey [UK Minister for Culture] in my first conversation with him.”

Added a Scottish Government spokesperson: “Fiona Hyslop had a constructive discussion with Ed Vaizey on June 7 about a range of issues, including broadcasting.

“We hope that this will mark the start of a positive dialogue with the new UK Government about how to address the serious deficit in Scottish public sector broadcasting, and how to ensure that the new UK Government’s proposals for local television meet the needs of Scottish viewers.

“As part of those discussions, the Scottish Government will continue to put forward the case for a Scottish digital network, which has been unanimously supported by the Scottish Parliament.”

The creation of a Scottish Digital Network – a digital TV channel backed by a big online presence – was the main recommendation of the Scottish Broadcasting Commission, set up by First Minister, Alex Salmond, and chaired by former head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland, Blair Jenkins.

Asked in December about the SDN by allmediascotland, Hyslop pledged to take the argument for the new service to the UK Government following the General Election.