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BBC radio and music is strengthening its diversity commitments, dedicating £12 million ($15.2 million) of its commissioning budget over the next three years towards diverse and inclusive content.

This amount will cover new programming commissioned by network radio and BBC Sounds from 2021/22, open to both in-house and independent production companies to compete for. The qualifying commissions will create content across criteria including diverse stories and portrayals, diverse production teams and talent and diverse-led companies.

The BBC will ask their suppliers in the independent sector to meet a 20% diversity target in their teams.

The BBC Sounds Lab, which launches this fall, will target the areas in which the broadcaster has the most work to do when it comes to representation, including ethnicity, disability and social-economic background.

June Sarpong, BBC director of creative diversity, said: “I am proud that the BBC is accelerating the pace of change and boosting our commitment to diverse talent — with a specific focus on race, disability and class — ensuring that the creativity of some of our most underrepresented communities is unleashed and included.”

James Purnell, director of BBC Radio & Education, added: “Aided by these commitments, we will build a diverse, creative future for BBC Radio & Music, relevant to all our audiences. We’ll hear more diverse stories, voices and experiences on air, and open up the BBC and the whole industry for people to thrive in, regardless of who they are or where they come from.”

Last month, BBC Content announced the Creative Diversity commitment, which will prioritize £100 million ($127.5 million) of the BBC’s existing commissioning budget over three years towards diverse and inclusive content. This will be supported by a new mandatory 20% off-screen diversity target in all new network commissions from April 2021.