Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has given final approval to BBC plans for a new TV channel for Scotland. It is due to begin broadcasting in February 2019.

The corporation’s Scotland director Donalda MacKinnon said she was delighted with the news. In an email to staff she wrote: “This is excellent news and provides us with the springboard to continue planning, with confidence, for launch which is scheduled for February 2019.”

MacKinnon added: “In addition, we are today announcing another 60 new jobs in Scotland, in BBC Design and Engineering (D+E).

“Worth £4m, these new posts will come to Scotland over the next three years. They will be in key broadcast development areas for the BBC, helping to create a digital hub at the heart of an already burgeoning Scottish broadcast industry.

“As a result, investment in the new channel, in the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporters scheme and in D+E has now cumulatively resulted in over 160 new BBC jobs in Scotland.”

BBC Scotland said the hub would play a critical role in “delivering the BBC’s ambition to reinvent itself for a new generation”. The new roles will focus on three areas;

  • how the BBC develops services on new voice interactive devices and smart speakers such as Amazon Echo Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s HomePod
  • helping deliver the “BBC’s education mission” and “building on the success of BBC Bitesize”
  • and developing a “common digital platform for the BBC to run its apps, websites and online experiences”

BBC Director General Tony Hall said: “Ofcom giving the green light for the new channel is great news. The new service has huge potential and I’m excited about what it can achieve. I am delighted that we are also investing £4m to create a new digital hub in Glasgow – a forward looking city that has real vibrancy and energy. It’s the perfect location.”