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Future funding of the BBC World Service


Following the announcement that a General Election will be held on 4 July, Select Committees will be unable to meet from 24 May and will cease to exist from 30 May until after the General Election. This work has therefore closed.

BBC World Service provides trusted news to radio, TV and digital audiences around the world in 42 languages including English, reaching a global audience of 318 million. It is chiefly funded by the UK Licence Fee with additional grant funding of £104.4mn [FY 23/24 and 24/25 respectively] from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Under this arrangement, the BBC World Service has agreed not to close any language services – but this condition set to be lifted in 2025.

BBC Director General, Tim Davie, made it clear in a speech in March 2024 that "we cannot keep asking UK Licence Fee payers to invest in (the World Service) when we face cuts to UK services. We will need to discuss a long-term funding solution for the World Service that comes from central government budgets."

Given its impact on the UK’s development goals, and the projection of the UK’s values across the world, the International Development Committee launched a short inquiry to establish the case for increased Government support and make recommendations beyond the current support package finishing in 2025.

The inquiry focused on the BBC’s offering to ODA eligible countries and the positive influence of the service as part of the UK’s Soft Power.

Read the call for evidence for more details about the inquiry 

Reports, special reports and government responses

No reports or special reports published.

Oral evidence transcripts

No oral evidence transcripts published.

Professor Simon Potter (Professor of Modern History at University of Bristol) (BBC0002)
Professor Robert Beveridge (Professor at University of Sassari, Sardinia, Italy) (BBC0003)
Mr Simon Dalley (CEO at GrowTraffic Ltd) (BBC0004)

Other publications

No other publications published.

Contact us

  • Email:
  • Phone: 020 7219 1223/3285 (general enquiries) | 020 7219 4984 (media enquiries)
  • Address: International Development Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA