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BBC Three builds second base in Birmingham

The BBC announces plans to develop a second Birmingham-based headquarters for BBC Three

BBC Three will be given a new home in Birmingham as part of the BBC’s investment in the city, it has announced.

The broadcaster’s digital channel will have a second headquarters in Birmingham housing the creation of some of its short form content and social media.

Moving these functions to Birmingham is part of a wider BBC project to invest £125m in the city. Plans to migrate BBC Three will take place under a phased transition with completion in 2018.

Tony Hall, BBC director general, said: “We’re putting Birmingham at the heart of our innovation with BBC Three and making it home to a new youth team for BBC News. The city’s incredible diversity means it’s the perfect place to lead our work to ensure we reflect the changing face of Britain.”

In February 2016, the BBC moved the its channel aimed at younger viewers off the air, continuing the brand as an online-only platform encouraging users to interact with the brand through YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

The broadcaster claimed the move would save £30m, and the approach is part of an ongoing project to make the BBC’s content more digital, personalised and easily consumable.

The BBC wants to boost the BBC Three project by using its Birmingham base to develop BBC Three’s Daily Drop shortform content, and hire a group of young people to work on the BBC News platform to supply Daily Drop content aimed at digitally savvy millennial audiences.

This will mean the Birmingham headquarters will account for £10m of the budget for the broadcaster’s content production.

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The millennial generation, which accounts for people between the ages of 18 to 35, are not consuming content in the traditional way, opting for streaming and bite-sized online content as opposed to live TV.

As part of wider investment plans in the Birmingham area, the broadcaster will also house the digital innovation team for developing multi-platform news and factual content, local and regional news and the BBC Academy designed to hire and train talent in the form of apprenticeships and trainee schemes.

According to business management consultant Marketing Birmingham, the city’s tech sector contributes approximately £1.6bn to the local economy, employing around 36,000 people.

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