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BBC has submitted its bids for Dorset to the Trust
Sun 18 Jan 2009

The BBC confirmed that they have submitted bids to the BBC Trust in support of Dorset's needs.    However, it was emphasised that all English Regions were bidding for a slice of the pie and not all bids would be approved.   The Trust is expected to announce their decisions at the end of February, 2009.   Oliver Letwin MP, Chairman of DorBAG, has been very busy lobbying senior management and the Trust in support of our bid.

DorBAG had asked for the following to be included - below is the feedback so far based on the BBC proposals:

To fold Dorset as a county (excluding Bournemouth & Poole) under one BBC Region.   This would mean we would have, for the first time, one manager and group totally responsible for everything that involves/covers the County of Dorset.   We understand that this case has been made clearly within the BBC and is well understood, but any decision will also have to take into account many factors including, for example, the location of Radio and TV Transmitters (see below).

To add a TV transmitter in Dorset to cover the county.   This is being costed and investigated ,although it was pointed out that, apart from budget implications, Ofcom have the final say on siting, frequency, power levels etc. of any new transmitters.

To provide a new studio for Dorset.   The existing studios in Dorchester have been updated with new technology to enable all staff to operate efficiently e.g. radio reporters, video journalists and BBC Dorset web site staff.   All video, audio and data can now be uploaded/downloaded at sufficient speed.   However, the main thrust of the BBC bid is for a new studio in Weymouth, taking into account the 2012 Olympics.    If approved, additional staff would be required.    We also understand that the intention is to still retain the studios in Dorchester.

To have a full team of staff in Dorset.   Although we are supposed to have six staff actually in Dorset, the present plan appears to be for four to include:  Video journalist, radio journalist and two BBC Dorset web site staff.   There should also be a video journalist in Weymouth, but due to lack of funds that is considered unlikley to happen unless the proposed studio in Weymouth is approved.

BBC Radio Dorset.   We understand that if the proposed TV transmitter is approved, then it should not be a major task to add radio to the same mast.    So TV and Radio are linked together.

Anyone who would like to support these bids is encouraged to lobby the BBC Trust and senior management - time is short!


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