500,000 boost for BBC programmes in England

MUMBAI: BBC has announced an extra half million pound investment in regional independent television productions. The addtitional investment will be spent on a range of new programmes across all 11 BBC regions in England.

BBC English Regions controller Andy Griffee was quoted in an official release saying, "This additional funding is to be spent over the next five months. I hope it will be repeated in the 2004-2005 fiscal. This is a move aimed at building on two very successful years for the BBC's regional television output. Budgets for content like Inside Out and The Politics Show have increased and now we want to extend our genre range even further. We want to do it almost exclusively with the independent sector across England."

The new range of programmes includes Local Hero, which shows 40-minute profiles on famous regional personalities who have been chosen by local radio listeners and regional television news viewers. Griffee further anticipated that the additional investment would pay for up to 20 additional programmes each year.

"We will also be choosing particular regions to pilot exciting ideas including news archive based programmes and a number of entertainment, sport and arts ideas," he said.

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