THE BBC has finally dismissed the idea of a Scottish Six TV news bulletin, but in what it called the biggest single investment in broadcast content in Scotland in two decades, it revealed that there will be an hour-long Scottish news programme at 9pm on a new channel.

Director-general Tony Hall told staff in Glasgow that the new channel – BBC Scotland – would start broadcasting in autumn next year with a £30 million budget, equivalent to that of BBC4, and would see the creation of 80 new jobs for journalists.

The new channel would feature a Scottish news hour at 9pm which will broadcast stories from Scotland, the UK and the world, in much the same way as radio programmes such as Good Morning Scotland.

Hall also announced an increase of around £20m a year for Scotland to make programmes for the UK network, with a focus on drama and factual programming.

There have been consistent, vocal calls for a Scottish Six, which would integrate the main BBC News at Six from London and Reporting Scotland. These calls were in response to criticism that the BBC News at Six often featured stories – for example on education and health – that had little relevance to Scottish audiences.

The Scottish Government had argued the BBC needed to “catch up” with devolution and to give its Scottish operation greater control of budgets, staffing and decision-making.

John Nicolson, the SNP’s culture and media spokesperson, said he welcomed the new channel and extra investment. However, he said he was “disappointed” the BBC had “killed off” the idea of separate Scottish Six news on BBC One.

“Of course it is great to have a separate Scottish Nine O’Clock News but I think it is very important to have a separate Six O’Clock News on the main terrestrial channel, BBC One,” he said.

“You just have to watch the running order of the main BBC news. Quite often they will lead on an English health story then there will be an English transport story. It will often have three English stories in its running order.

“That’s great for the people of England but it is obviously not good for the people of Scotland on their main channel.”

Scotland should receive about £40m in new funding annually – £19m for the new channel and digital developments, and £20m for making network programmes. It is hoped that spending on network programmes made in Scotland will rise from about £65m this year to closer to £90m over the next three years.

The new channel will broadcast from 7pm to midnight every evening and will show drama, factual, comedy and news programmes made in Scotland.

“I said at the beginning of the year that the BBC needed to be more creative and distinctive,” said Hall. “The BBC is Britain’s broadcaster but we also need to do more for each nation just as we are doing more for Britain globally.

“We know that viewers in Scotland love BBC television, but we also know that they want us to better reflect their lives and better reflect modern Scotland.

“It is vital that we get this right. The best way of achieving that is a dedicated channel for Scotland. It’s a channel that will be bold, creative and ambitious, with a brand-new Scotland-edited international news programme at its heart.

“The BBC has the luxury of having first-class creative teams and brilliant journalists, who I know will make this new channel a huge success.

“The additional investment in Scottish drama and factual programming rightly recognises both the need to do more across our output and the huge pool of talent available in Scotland. We do make great programmes here, such as Shetland, Britain’s Ancient Capital – Secrets of Orkney, Two Doors Down and the brilliant Still Game – but we do need to do more.”

While the news was broadly welcomed, many echoed Nicolson’s view and questioned why the Scottish Nine should not be broadcast on BBC One.

One BBC insider said the plans made a number of assumptions.

“Currently a Scottish show on BBC One at 10.40pm will inherit a lot of viewers from the news, which itself inherits viewers from whatever is before it. Let’s say, Crimewatch,” they said. “The assumption that all the people in Scotland that like those shows are going to switch the channel to see things made closer to home is a big one. So it’s great if they’re making more content in Scotland, but if that means just putting it all on one dedicated channel, I’m not sure it’s a good thing.”

Later today, MSPs will question Hall on his announcement of a new channel for BBC Scotland. Holyrood’s Culture, Europe, Tourism and External Relations Committee, will take evidence on the BBC Charter from Hall, along with Donalda MacKinnon, director of BBC Scotland and Ken McQuarrie, director, nations and regions, at the BBC.