The BBC is considering moving one of its national channels to Manchester in a bid to head off accusations that it is too London-centric.

The BBC is considering moving one of its national channels to Manchester in a bid to head off accusations that it is too London-centric.

Critics of the corporation have long called for more of its output - particularly a channel such as BBC2 - to be moved to the north and counter London's dominance of the national broadcast media.

The BBC has previously publicly dismissed moving BBC2, but Broadcast understands that, as part of discussions connected to Charter renewal, it is again looking at the idea.

Suggestions include moving CBBC, BBC3 or even BBC2, plus some production and commissioning to Manchester, which is the home of religion and some entertainment programming.

The view among some senior BBC management is that a significant move will have to be made as part of its Charter review proposals - and moving a channel would fit the bill.

One source told Broadcast: "There is some very serious thoughts about some commissioning and production moving to Manchester. It is definitely being looked at."

Another added that the idea was being discussed "at the top level" of the BBC, where there was a lot of support for the idea.

Manchester is the front-runner as it already has a strong BBC base while the presence of Granada and leading indies such as Red Production means it has a vibrant creative industry.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "Charter review is throwing up all kinds of ideas and this is one of them. But this is still blue-sky thinking and nothing has been decided."

At a Broadcastround-table event on regional programming (which will be published next week), BBC director of nations and regions Pat Loughrey said the BBC would be "very willing" to look at moving some of its capabilities out of London.

"I think you'll find that the BBC will be a willing participant in a look at where the decision-making [is made]," he said.

"It's hard to explain why an organisation like ours, which is funded the way we are, should make so many of the key decisions in one place."