BBC unveils a reserve fund

Initiative was announced Thursday

The BBC will set up a reserve fund to bankroll “special and distinctive creative opportunities.”

The unspecified amount of coin is “designed to provide the capability to grab good ideas for programs, which may have a longer gestation period or … have a higher risk profile,” said Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust.

Initiative was announced Thursday by the chairman as the Beeb finalizes a wide-reaching cost-cutting program that could see more than 2,500 staff lose their jobs.

Lyons tried to present an upbeat vision of the pubcaster, under fire externally over the deception of audiences and from its own journalists, who are fearful that news budgets will be slashed.

He said the BBC had “an extraordinary opportunity” in the years ahead because of its guaranteed income of $7 billion a year, fixed for six years.

“So the concentration should be on the money we have, not on the money that we might have had,” he stressed, referring to a shortfall in the new license fee settlement, no longer linked to rises in the U.K. annual inflation rate.