Opportunities & Challenges for the Third Sector: BBC’s Aziz Rashid at Lunchworks
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Opportunities & Challenges for the Third Sector: BBC’s Aziz Rashid at Lunchworks

November 4, 2019

So just to say about the context
here of Lunchworks. When we moved into these offices, it was about in June I think, and
we came here in partnership with Reason Digital, and we wanted to do something really because
our client base are really social enterprises like ourselves. Frankie and I, Dovetail, and
Matt and company, are social enterprises, and we were work with people across the third
sector really, we work with charities, arts organisations and other social enterprises.
So what with the financial situation, the cutbacks in public expenditure and people
really feeling the pinch across the sector, we wanted to do something that was perhaps
a little more optimistic and hopeful, kind of invite people in for lunch and have a discussion.
So we’ve had political commentator Gerry Hassan came first of all, and then we had a voiceover
artist who came last time, and we really wanted to talk about diverse representation in the media
and this is because really, I think organisations such as ourselves particularly in the current
climate need to make the very most of the assets that we’ve got, we can’t depend all
the time on public sector funding, and that’s about profile. We need to make sure that we
make the most of all the assets we’ve got, and even though a lot of organisations that
Frankie and I, and Matt and team work with may not have a lot of money, what we do have
are great stories, we’ve got great stories, and fantastic work going on. You know, amazing
volunteers, extraordinary projects, artistic projects and you see people really fulfilling
their ambitions and reaching their potential through real grass roots work with people,
volunteers and dedicated workers working with them on the ground, and I think a lot of us
feel that we have great stories going on, and maybe we feel some barriers to getting
them out on the media when we’re pitted against people who have great big PR machines behind
them. So that’s the context in which we wanted to have this discussion today, so as I say,
we’ve asked you kindly for questions, well we haven’t asked you kindly, you’ve kindly
given us questions. So what we’re going to do is, we’re going to go forth and have these
questions and a discussion, but first of all, Aziz might like to say a few words about your
work. Sure. And your coming here today. I’m Aziz. I was invited to do this. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really sure what I
let myself in for, but I said to Julia, please send me some questions from people so I’ve
got an idea of what it is I’m trying to answer. I have some answers to some of those questions.
Some of the questions I didn’t have answers to so I’ve emailed a whole load of people
this week and said, do we do this, and how do we do this, and how does this work? So
I might read little bits from notes that I’ve had from various different people working
in our Outreach department, working in our diversity department, and all the rest of
it. I mean obviously as BBC Manager I know some of it myself. I’ve been based in the
North West for eighteen months now, I joined as head of BBC North West in March 2009. I
am basically in charge of all the regional and local programming in the North West. That
means two hundred and fifty staff based in Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire, working
on BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Merseyside, BBC Radio Manchester, the websites for Liverpool,
Manchester and, Liverpool, Manchester and Lancashire. Also all the TV programming that
goes out in the North West for regional programming, so that means North West Tonight, it means
Inside Out, our weekly half hour documentary, it means Late Kick Off, which is a weekly
football that runs four months a year, and The Politics Show that runs every Sunday.
So I kind of work across TV, radio and the web, across the North West. Here in Manchester
there’s a lot more than that going on, Manchester is already one of the biggest, outside London
department BBC, all of BBC religion programmes, radio and TV come from Manchester, lots of
BBC entertainment programmes like Question of Sport, Dragons Den, University Challenge,
are made in Manchester. BBC Three comedies are made in Manchester, the BBC Philharmonic
is based here, we’ve got radio current affairs like File on 4 and Assignment on Radio 4 are
made in Manchester. Reports for The Late Show are made by current affairs team in Manchester,
so there’s a lot of other people, there’s eight hundred staff in Manchester already,
and I’m in charge of about two hundred of the staff based in Manchester so there’s lots
of people doing other things in Manchester. And I’m sure you’ve all heard about Salford,
and about the move to Media City, so this will become the second biggest BBC Centre
outside London, with two and a half thousand staff at Media City and the extra departments
coming up. BBC Sport, BBC Five – Radio Five Live, all of the children’s departments, so
you know, Newsround, Blue Peter, CBeebies and CBBC will all be run from Salford, and
the BBC Learning Department as well, and a big chunk of our, we call it Future Media
and Technology which is not a very easy to understand thing, but basically the people
who do all the online and interactive stuff, a big chunk of them are coming. So the people
who are developing the new Internet TV called YouView which you will hear a lot about in
the next few years, they’re coming to Manchester. The BBC, the people who build the front page
of BBC Online, they’ll be based in Manchester as well.

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