Ministers assure me that “The FCDO is committed to providing grant-in-aid funding for the BBC World Service through to 2025”

Feb 8, 2022 | Featured parliamentary activity

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5688):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the announcement of a two-year freeze in the BBC Licence Fee, what assurances they can provide on future funding of the BBC World Service; and what assessment they have made of whether planned funding will be sufficient to sustain the services it provides. (HL5688)

Tabled on: 26 January 2022

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

The Government recognises the vital role that the BBC World Service plays across the globe. As part of the announcement on the BBC’s licence fee the Culture Secretary made it clear that the BBC should continue to make a substantive investment from the licence fee into the World Service to ensure that it continues to reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world – in English and through its language services. In 2021-22, the FCDO is providing £94.4 million to the World Service to fund 12 language services alongside an additional £8 million to tackle disinformation and develop digital platforms. The FCDO is committed to providing grant-in-aid funding for the BBC World Service through to 2025. Final allocations will be confirmed after the conclusion of the FCDO business planning process.

Date and time of answer: 08 Feb 2022 at 11:55.


Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5689):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the value of the BBC World Service in supporting UK international diplomatic objectives, in particular in relation to establishing and developing new relationships following the UK’s departure from the EU. (HL5689)

Tabled on: 26 January 2022

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We strongly value the work of the BBC World Service in promoting our values globally through its independent and impartial broadcasting. As part of the announcement on the BBC’s Licence Fee, the Culture Secretary made it clear that the BBC should continue to make a substantive investment from the licence fee into the World Service to ensure that it continues to reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world – in English and through its language services. The BBC World Service now reaches 364 million people weekly, an over 40% increase since the FCDO-funded World2020 programme began in 2016 which is invaluable for our soft power and influence globally.

Date and time of answer: 08 Feb 2022 at 11:57.

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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