The Trust said the arrangement will protect the editorial and managerial independence of S4C, whilst safeguarding appropriate accountability to the Trust for licence fee funding spent by the service. The deal follows negotiations between S4C, the BBC Trust and the UK government after last year’s BBC licence fee settlement, in which it was agreed to establish a new partnership and funding arrangements for S4C.
The deal will see the BBC using annual licence fee funding for S4C of £76.3 million (€88 million) in 2013/14, £76 million in 2014/15, £75.25 million for 2015/16 and £74.5 million in 2016/17. The S4C Authority has agreed to a revised governance arrangement, that gives the BBC Trust member for Wales a place on the Authority. The BBC will therefore be able to help shape the broadcaster’s objectives but it will not be involved with the day-to-day running of S4C.
BBC Trust chairman, Chris Patten, said: “This is good news for the Welsh-speaking audience. Our agreement safeguards S4C’s editorial independence while ensuring effective oversight of licence fee funds. It will also forge a closer working relationship between BBC Wales and S4C, which will see savings reinvested in quality programming that viewers expect.”