BBC Radio 3 strengthens its Salford music roots with a new hub for classical broadcasting

As part of a wider UK strategy, the hub will host a raft of new programmes.

By Emma Davidson | 15 December 2022

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This week BBC Radio 3 confirmed that a number of brand-new programmes will relocate to Salford as the broadcaster strengthens its network at Media City.

The Northern classical music hub has been a big vision for the BBC, with the view to maximise and strengthen partnerships and opportunities through new audiences and diverse voices heard on the station.

By 2024/25 the hope is that at least 50% of production hours for BBC Radio 3 will be from Salford, and, additionally BBC’s first Head of Orchestras and Choirs, Simon Webb, will be based there from January 2023.

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Alan Davey, Controller of BBC Radio 3, said: “Strengthening Radio 3’s roots in the North of England, with a continued and important presence in London, will ensure the station holds its place at the forefront of leading and developing classical music and culture for the whole of the country.

“We hope to support and develop a wider pool of established and emerging talent, and build new partnerships with different communities in the North as well as with the wider classical music industry.”

Eight programmes will make the move from London by Autumn 2024, including; Music Matters, Jazz Record Requests, Essential Classics, Through the Night and Sunday Breakfast. The Listening Service and Afternoon Concert – both currently partly based in Salford – will move the entirety of their production, and Words and Music will also increase its Salford production.

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The move builds on the existing Radio 3 community in Salford, creating a hub of excellence for Northern classical music. Radio 3 will continue to commission from a range of suppliers in different parts of the UK.

As part of the BBC’s ‘Across the UK’ plan, announced by the BBC’s Director General Tim Davie in March 2021, it aims to move programmes and stations away from London so that it can better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.