About 60 employees are to be cut at BBC Scotland in a bid to meet savings targets.

The corporation revealed it has to make savings of £6.2 million over this financial year blaming the move on "ongoing financial challenges compounded by the effects of Covid-19".

Director Donalda MacKinnon told staff while various efficiencies have already been identified, the broadcaster will have to reduce the number of employees it has in Scotland. 

It comes after BBC director-general Tony Hall last week announced a call for voluntary redundancies across the whole of the BBC.

While the broadcaster hopes it can reduce staffing this way, compulsory redundancies have not been ruled out.

The BBC said the licence fee freeze means £800 million has to be found over the first five years of its current charter period.

A further £125 million of savings are being targeted after falls in licence fee collection and commercial income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Divisions of the BBC are now implementing fresh savings plans, with BBC Scotland having to cut its budget by £6.2 million over the period to the end of March 2021 as its contribution to the increased savings challenge facing the corporation.

Ms MacKinnon said: "BBC Scotland has been fortunate to attract significant investment in the last few years, securing a new TV channel, increased network programming and the establishment of a design and engineering hub.

"That meant we were able to create an additional 250 jobs - but we aren't immune to the new financial challenges now facing many businesses up and down the country.
"Sadly, that means that along with cost-cutting measures throughout our departments, we estimate we will also have to lose around 60 posts to make the savings required."

The corporation is looking for redundancies over the next six weeks, with staff affected due to hear where posts will close following that process.

Commented on the news, Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “The BBC is at a pivotal point in its history. Already faced with achieving cuts of £800million, the additional Covid-19 funding gap of £125million will lead to swingeing cuts to jobs, programming and services."

"At a time when our public service broadcaster has brilliantly risen to the challenge of a global pandemic, providing vital information and news to communities faced with an unprecedented health crisis, it is now having to pay the cost for that public service by losing experienced talented staff, and curtailing important and valuable news and content.

“The government should step forward to fill this Covid-19 funding gap, rather than inflict further cuts on an already financially challenged BBC. There must then also be a broader debate around the funding of the BBC so that our public service broadcaster can be taken off the critical list with its future health and independence secured.”