A BBC Theme Park?

December 12, 2014 4:32 PM

The news that the BBC is planning to contribute to a theme park with the help of a private company is puzzling. 

Details are scarce, but it should be made clear that the taxpayer should not bear the burden for any of the costs. It is not the role of the BBC to speculate on business ventures with our money. Imagine if the government began trading shares on our account, there would be uproar, and if the BBC uses its funding for a theme park then the response should be the same.

Megafobia_Oakwood_Theme_Park.jpgIf this venture is privately funded there are two things I would like to see. The leasing of brands and profits that the park makes should fund reductions in the Licence Fee. We should not allow ourselves to be fobbed off with claims that revenue will support programming costs.

The vultures have been circling over the licence fee for quite some time - waiting for a Government to really look at its sustainability in the long-term. As a flat rate it disproportionately hits those on low incomes and it harks back to an age where there was far less consumer choice. Nowadays, with a lot of BBC content accessible for free on iPlayer (legally) and many other ‘catchup’ services available, we have to look at other potential ways of funding the service, including scrapping the Fee and instituting a subscription system.

The government spends a great deal of the public’s money (a modest £720 billion last year) and there is a lot of waste. We await assurances that the Beeb isn't about to waste a lot more on a theme park. It would be just another way in which the taxpayer is being taken for a ride.

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