BBC brings more to UK than just programmes, director general to say

The BBC brings more to the communities across the UK than just programmes and broadcasting, the corporation's director general will say.

Lord Tony Hall will reiterate the BBC's commitment to the nations and regions of Britain when he addresses the Prospect National Conference in Birmingham on Monday.

It is expected he will also outline the ability of the BBC to have a positive impact on areas in ways which surpass its output.

"The BBC's contribution to society is not limited to what we can achieve through our content and services," he will say.

"I'm a passionate believer in the impact we can have through our convening power... By acting as a ringmaster, if you like.

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"It's another public service ideal: bringing partners together and making things happen that would otherwise not be possible."

Referring to the BBC's previous and ongoing developments outside of the capital, Lord Hall will highlight the success of those which include Birmingham, Glasgow and Bristol.

He will say how these investments show "what an impact the BBC can have as a catalyst for boosting a region's economy and creativity, jobs and skills, ambition and opportunity".

Using BBC North at Salford Quays as an example, he will say how with the corporation being a key anchor tenant in developments, this can change the face of cities.

"So many people were sceptical about the idea of creating a new media village," he will say.

"But the BBC acting as anchor not only meant that other media organisations were attracted to join us...

Media City in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester
Media City in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester

"It also meant that, within just a few years, our activities in the north were worth more than £275 million each year to the UK economy, not to mention more jobs, training and skills for the region."

Lord Hall will also highlight the development of Central Square in Cardiff. Speaking about the new BBC Wales headquarters, he will say it is a "move that's triggered the biggest urban regeneration project in Wales".

"And it's on track to deliver a £1.1 billion economic boost and help create nearly 2,000 additional jobs over a 10-year period," he will say.

Lord Hall will also point to the BBC's contribution to Hull's year as UK City of Culture in 2017.

The Yorkshire city is where the BBC hosted Radio 1's Big Weekend, the Today programme, and the first Prom outside London in over 80 years.

Lord Hall will say: "In short, we did everything we could to help promote the city at home and also abroad, with our programmes on BBC News and BBC World reaching around 10 million viewers worldwide.

"I don't believe that anyone but us - with our unique local, national and global reach, and our unique public service mission - could have done that job."

Lord Hall will also pledge the same for Coventry when it becomes UK City of Culture in 2021.