NWDA launches online TV channel

The North West Development Agency has found yet another novel way to employ its bountiful £500m-a-year budget.

The powerful publicly funded organisation has launched NWDA TV on its website; a series of films that "showcase the activities of the NWDA and our partners, together with films produced to promote England's Northwest as a vibrant and exciting tourism destination."

Dozens of films are included in the section, with subjects ranging from the new University of Cumbria to guided tours with journalist Simon Calder.

While the content may well help promote the region to investors and tourists, media players in the region will no doubt complain that the NWDA, like the BBC, is using taxpayers' money to broadcast content that a private sector broadcaster could and should be left to carry in a free market.

Peter Mearns, executive director of marketing at the NWDA, said: "Over a number of years the NWDA has produced a range of short films to showcase the region as a vibrant tourist destination and business location, as well as highlighting the agency's key activities, strategic sites and key investments.

"After updating the NWDA corporate website, we have added a section called NWDA TV, which is a convenient and user friendly name that allows us to pull together all films that may be of interest to a wider audience.

"As such, this area of the website will only be updated when new films are produced as part of our wider marketing activity and will not be allocated a budget to be regularly renewed."

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