BBC World Service launches 11 new language services with new government funding

William Turvill
Follow William
BBC World Service Moves Home
The government announced the new funding last November (Source: Getty)

The BBC World Service has announced plans to expand with 11 new language services next year.

The growth is being funded by a government pledge, announced last year, to pump £85m a year into enhancing BBC services into areas such as Russia, North Korea, the Middle East and Africa.

Read more: Government launches hunt for new BBC board chair and cuts salary by £10,000

New languages offered will include Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Gujarati, Igbo, Korean, Marathi, Pidgin, Punjabi, Telugu, Tigrinya and Yoruba.

The £289m investment is part of a push by the BBC to double the size of its global audience to 500m by 2022. It said 1,300 jobs, mostly outside of the UK, will be created as part of the move.

BBC director general Tony Hall described it as a “historic day for the BBC, as we announce the biggest expansion of the World Service since the 1940s”.

Read more: New BBC cost-cutting plans restrict presenters' foreign travel

He added: “The BBC World Service is a jewel in the crown – for the BBC and for Britain.”

The government funding was unveiled in November last year as part of a National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Related articles