Inverness business group demand meeting with MacQuarrie over BBC Scotland job cuts

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A business group in Inverness has demanded a meeting with BBC Scotland Chief Ken MacQuarrie over proposed job cuts in the area.

Inverness Chamber of Commerce, which represents over 350 local businesses, is calling for the meeting after an announcement from the BBC that it is to cut 35 posts in Scotland, 17 of them in news and current affairs.

According to allmediascotland two of the four senior broadcast posts in Inverness have been earmarked for the axe.

Issuing a statement, Inverness CoC Chief Executive Steven Nicol, said: “We believe these cuts will compromise the delivery of news across all platforms in the Highlands.  The BBC reports on vital issues and developments across this region, which is comparable to Belgium in size, and we believe the organisation’s ability to continue doing this is now at risk.

“Of course, we understand the BBC has to make cost savings but many people already feel that the Highland lacks its fair share of voice when compared to other regions of Scotland, particularly those in the Central Belt. If these cuts go through, important issues, developments and opportunities taking place in the Highlands may be missed by those living elsewhere in Scotland, the UK and internationally.

“People in this region pay their license fee and are entitled to a fair service from the BBC. This is just another example of disproportionate cuts for rural Scotland.”

A BBC Scotland spokesperson, in a reply to allmediascotland said: “The BBC’s commitment to news-gathering in the Highlands and Islands is at the most it has ever been, with a total news-gathering staff of 29, between English language and Gaelic.  We are committed to maintaining the comprehensive service that we already provide.”