Decision to move more BBC Radio 3 programming to Salford Quays welcomed

The decision to switch a range of BBC Radio 3 programmes from London to MediaCity at Salford Quays has been welcomed.

The move is part of the BBC’s Across the UK strategy.

By 2024-25 at least half of the production hours for BBC Radio 3 will be from Salford.

Simon Webb, who was recently announced as the BBC’s first Head of Orchestras and Choirs, will be based at Salford Quays from January as part of the move.

And a new incoming controller of Radio 3 and BBC Proms will spend their time between London and Salford.

Current controller of BBC Radio 3, Alan Davey, said: “Strengthening Radio 3’s roots in the North of England, with a continued and important presence in London, will ensure the station holds its place at the forefront of leading and developing classical music and culture for the whole of the country.”

He added that it was the station’s hope to “support and develop a wider pool of established and emerging talent” and wanted to “build new partnerships” in the North of the country and the wider classical music industry.

Eight programmes will move their output from London to Salford by the autumn of 2024, they are: Music Matters, Jazz Record Requests, Essential Classics, Through the Night and Sunday Breakfast.

The Listening Service and Afternoon Concert – both currently partly based in Salford – will move the entirety of their production to MediaCity, while Words and Music will increase its Salford output.

Scott Mills’ replacements on BBC Radio 1, Dean McCullough and Vicky Hawkesworth, broadcast their weekday afternoon show from the BBC’s Salford base as part of the strategy.

Alan Williams, a Professor of Collaborative Composition at the University of Salford said: “The announcement that BBC Radio 3 is creating a UK-wide classical music hub in the North, and that 50% of its production hours will come from Salford, is unequivocally good news for Salford, the city region, and the North of England more generally.

“Our staff and students are involved in innovative music and music technology projects across the city region, and we look forward to the opportunities for more creative collaboration that this move will bring.”

He added: “I’m also delighted that Simon Webb, who has been a hugely supportive friend of the University as Director of the BBC Philharmonic, will now stay in Salford as Head of Orchestras and Choirs.”

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