BBC Scotland job cuts will make it harder to get away from a London-centric agenda, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has said.

The corporation will cut around 60 jobs in Scotland as part of a £6.2 million savings plan.

The changes are to take effect by March 2021 and have been blamed on “ongoing financial challenges compounded by the effects of Covid-19”.

Donalda MacKinnon, the BBC Scotland director, told staff that while efficiencies have been identified, the headcount has to be reduced.

The National:

Overall, the BBC’s Nation and Regions have been set target savings of £24.1m in 2021 and £27.8m in 2021-2022.

As 80 per cent of their budget is spent on staff costs, the required savings will involve substantial job cuts. 

In Wales, where £6m of savings have been made over the past 3 years, the target is £4.5million, which is also equivalent to 60 posts.

Between 30 and 40 losses are predicted in Northern Ireland, which needs to save £3.6m. Fewer resources are to be spent there on the 10.30pm bulletin, with coverage of political party conferences to be watered-down.

The figures for England are not yet known, but the NUJ says these are expected to be "substantial".

The corporation has called on all staff to consider applying for voluntary redundancy.

Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said the changes are "extremely worrying".

He stated: "The BBC says it wants to get out of London and better reflect the make up of the UK. These job cuts will make that far harder.

"It will also mean less scrutiny and holding to account of local politicians and decision makers.

"If the BBC shrinks and reduces news coverage in these areas there is no one else that will be able to step in and fill the void left behind."

BBC Scotland's headcount is currently at around 1100, with its ranks increased by 250 in recent years as the BBC Scotland channel launched and network programming increased.

The National:

The voluntary redundancy application period will last for six weeks.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet called on the UK Government to provide further funding, saying: "The BBC is at a pivotal point in its history.

"Already faced with achieving cuts of £800m, the additional Covid-19 funding gap of £125m will lead to swingeing cuts to jobs, programming and services."