The BBC has detailed plans for two major regional productions – its planned ‘warm, positive and inclusive’ factual series from the north-east and the successor to BBC England show Inside Out.
The corporation plans to draw up a shortlist of eight suppliers to make its 15 x 30-minute early-evening show for the north-east.
It has published its invitation to pitch, which outlines its ambitions for the format, which it aims to launch in February-March next year.
The contract is worth up to £570,000, with the BBC earmarking £38,000 budget for each episode.
Applicants are invited to submit up to three ideas for the format and must have – or be prepared to open – a substantial base in the north-east, or to be open to partner with an existing local supplier.
The document outlines ambitions for the show to have ‘a strong sense of regional portrayal embedded into the editorial’ and for bidders to demonstrate a commitment to diversity.
BBC daytime and early peak commissioner Helen Munson is leading the evaluation of pitches, alongside commissioning editor Rachel Platt and business affairs manager James Dundas.
Entries are due by 25 February, with a longlist of eight set to be published on 14 March ahead of further development and the contract will be awarded by 16 May. Production will then kick off from June with a delivery deadline of January 2023.
We Are England
Meanwhile, current affairs strand We Are England, which replaces Inside Out, kicks off the first of two 10 x 60-minute series on 26 January, produced out of hubs in Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol, London and Norwich.
Each of the ten weeks of the series’ run will be themed, with each region producing one show taking a local view on the subject. In the final week, six celebrities will undertake a personal journey of discovery to their hometowns.
The first run will tackle issues including the mental health of army veterans retrained as HGV drivers, pastors keeping a city’s streets safe, and the Norfolk police reopening the unsolved murder case of Michelle Bettles after 20 years.
Executive producer Sarah Trigg, who ran the Birmingham base of indie Wonder before joining the BBC in May last year, is overseeing the strand.
The BBC axed Inside Out last year as part of plans to cut 450 BBC England roles and save £25m.