PA chief Hastings to head BBC's dedicated CSR arm

The BBC is to create a dedicated CSR unit as part of an initiative to better co-ordinate and capitalise on its community ventures.

The new unit is to be headed by the BBC's current head of public affairs Michael Hastings, for whose old job the Corporation is now recruiting. Hastings will take on the new position in January and is set to recruit a team to support him.

Hastings said: 'We have gone a long way to make sure the BBC meets and exceeds what is expected under CSR but, up to now, there has never been a co-ordinated hub for driving it. This new unit will allow us to develop a comprehensive CSR framework.'

He added: 'What we will do is look across the range of activities and say "How do you bring about a more strategically-focused approach and make sure the sum of the parts add up to better deliver the benefits and stimulate more activity?"'

The move follows the publication in the latest annual report of details of all the BBC's CSR activity for the first time. This includes the annual Children in Need and Comic Relief appeals, fundraising through local radio and independent staff initiatives the BBC supports.

Aside from fundraising, Hastings' remit will also extend to the BBC's environmental audit, energy saving and responsible procurement activities.

BBC Open Centres - of which there are six across the country helping people develop media and internet skills are also included.

Hastings said the unit would be responsible for seeing that the Corporation and its staff receive the credit for CSR activities.

The new unit will cover the entire BBC including commercial areas of the corporation and the foreign office-funded World Service.

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