Media release: Jeremy Wright to outline support for UK broadcasting in first speech


IN his first public facing speech as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright will today outline his support for the UK’s strong and thriving broadcasting sector.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival (Wednesday 22 August), he will welcome Channel 4’s move outside of London and into the regions, encouraging other Public Service Broadcasters and production companies to follow suit and expand further across the regions.

He will also outline the UK’s commitment to the sector as we prepare to leave the EU, reaffirming that the government will support the UK broadcasting and media industry in negotiations to ensure that the sector can go from strength to strength.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright, is expected to say: “In a fast-changing media environment, it is more important than ever for broadcasters to reach out and reflect the UK as a whole.

“A media that is clustered in the capital can’t possibly reflect and represent the rich and diverse tapestry that is the United Kingdom.

“It is clear that the development of Media City in Salford has been great for the BBC, great for ITV and great for an exciting cluster of tech and production companies in the region.

“I am delighted that Channel 4 has recently agreed to move 300 staff out of London, with more to come, and to increase spending on programmes outside London to 50 percent.

“I am looking forward to hearing the location of the new national HQ and creative hubs in October and I hope all broadcasters and producers will follow their lead and encourage the spread of jobs, prosperity, and opportunity beyond London.”

Addressing issues around our negotiations as we prepare to leave the EU, he will go on to say: “Strong public service broadcasters mean a strong broadcasting sector as a whole. They are vital in helping all broadcasters find talent, and one of the things I have heard loud and clear already is how important it is to find the right talent in this industry.

“I know that there is concern about how talent will be able to move between the UK and the EU after EU exit. Although you will understand that the final outcome is still subject to our future immigration system, I can say that the government well and truly understands how important mobility is for this sector”

“As outlined in the recent White Paper, we are seeking to agree a framework for mobility with the EU.  This will include reciprocal arrangements to allow UK nationals to visit the EU without a visa for short term business reasons, with equivalent arrangements for EU citizens coming to the UK.

“And we are working on a broader accord with the EU on culture and education that will, among other things, allow for the temporary movement of goods for major events, tours, exhibitions, and productions.

“We understand the importance of retaining European Works Status for the sector, and we were able to confirm this earlier in the year.

“I recognise of course that there are still issues to be resolved in this [EU Exit] process and you have my assurance that I will make the case for the interests of this sector as we seek to resolve them.

“But regardless of our settlement with the EU, broadcasting will remain a vital part of what Britain offers the world.

“Because we have a broadcasting sector that’s really worth shouting about.”

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Contact: Dan Palmer