The BBC has been given a £400m borrowing boost by the government as it tries to keep up with the streaming giants.
It was announced in the Budget yesterday that this move would “fund a commercial growth strategy, benefiting the creative economy”, which would be felt across the country.
A debt limit on BBC Studios is to be lifted from £350m to £750m by 2027, and exceeds the BBC finance chief Glyn Isherwood’s requests to MPs in March, where he said the borrowing cap was 20 years old and must be updated.
The boost of cash will give the BBC the ability to produce more original content, and the chance to expand its offerings to compete with the likes of Amazon Prime and Netflix.
A BBC spokesperson told City A.M.: “We are grateful for this in principle agreement that we can raise our commercial borrowing limit – something which hasn’t increased since 2003 – which will help us to compete with the our international competitors who have much deeper pockets than we have.”
“This is a vote of confidence in the BBC as a great British success story – and will see more inward investment and creation of more jobs in the UK creative sector.”
The potential takeover of Channel 4 is also an important backdrop, with some suggesting that this borrowing boost may be fed into acquiring the channel.