BBC chiefs have been told the £30 million annual budget set aside to fund the broadcaster’s new Scottish channel will be insufficient to create quality programmes and could ultimately see the venture fail.

The warning has been made by an independent production company in a written submission to MSPs who are holding an inquiry into the country’s television and film industries.

Caledonia TV told Holyrood’s culture committee that “in principle” it was “very much” in favour of the new BBC Scotland channel, due to launch later this year.

However, it raised serious concerns about the level of funding being set aside for the channel which the producer said would impact on the quality of programmes it could broadcast.

“A country with a national parliament needs a national broadcaster,” the Caledonia TV submission warned.

“A new channel should give Scottish licence fee payers a much-needed new range of content and Scotland’s domestic television production market a shot in the arm, extending the limited current opportunities to serve the Scottish audience. But quality content requires investment.”

It suggested such a budget could lead to viewers being disappointed.

“We are not convinced the £30m per annum content budget is sufficient to produce the required number of hours of original, high-quality, primetime content the BBC proposal suggests and the audience will expect from Scotland’s new national broadcaster,” it said.

“Once the cost of the 9pm news hour is factored in, the £30m budget is reduced to £25,000 per hour – hardly sufficient to fund the comedy or drama proposed, let alone compete with network or digital channels. We also believe that the modern audience, with access to HD channels on every platform, expect content to be delivered in HD. Lastly, we have a concern about the viability of the 9pm hour-long news, given the slot and digital competition.”

A BBC spokesperson told The National: "The BBC is currently investing £40 million in broadcasting in Scotland, including the proposed new channel, which is significantly more than in other parts of the UK.

"It represents the biggest single investment in broadcast content in Scotland in over 20 years.

"Our plans have been fully costed and we’re very confident that they will enable us to produce a channel which has a mix of high quality programming that will appeal to a wide range of viewers.

"Since submitting our proposal to Ofcom we have been able to confirm that the new channel, which is subject to regulatory approval, would be transmitted in HD.

"The budget of the channel will also act as a catalyst for generating more value in the creative industries sector through a growth in co-commissions and collaborations with other broadcasters and with other BBC services."

The submission by Caledonia TV echoed concerns previously brought up by Nicola Sturgeon over the percentage of revenue raised by the TV licence that was spent in Scotland.

It said the level should be increased from 72 per cent to 98 per cent – on par with that spent in Northern Ireland – but less than the 110 per cent spent in Wales. The higher level would raise a further £82m.

“In addition the total of the £30m on offer and the £20m earmarked for Scottish network content still does not address the shortfall in the Scottish licence fee spend,” the submission added.

“The average licence fee spend percentage by the BBC across both Wales and Northern Ireland is 98 per cent – and Wales is 110 per cent if S4C is included. In Scotland it is 72.42 per cent.

“If the BBC in Scotland was to spend 98 per cent of the licence fee revenue it raises in Scotland an additional £82.26m would be invested in Scotland’s creative economy each year.

“This would allow for a significant increase – by around two-thirds – in the content budget of the new BBC Scotland channel.”

Sajid Quayum, Caledonia TV’s head of production, will today give evidence to members of Holyrood’s culture committee.

Annie Griffin, creative director of Pirate Production, Naysun Alae-Carew, of Blazing Griffin and Lorne Boswell, Scotland organiser of actor’s union Equity, will also be among broadcasting figures questioned at the committee today.

BBC Scotland director Donalda MacKinnon last year told MSPs on the culture committee she was “confident” the £30m annual budget was sufficient.

She said at the time: “I’m very confident that with this £30m we can work very cleverly with others to extract maximum value. We can make this money work really well to deliver an exciting proposition for audiences.”

The Scottish Broadcasting Commission, set up in 2007 to examine ways of advancing the industry, recommended an annual budget of £75m.