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BBC bids goodbye to recipes website, cuts £15M from online budget

BBC Food homepage (Screen shot of bbc.co.uk/food/)

BBC Food homepage (Screen shot of bbc.co.uk/food/)

BBC will soon be saying adieu to over 11,000 recipes posted on its BBC Food website in the next month. This is in line with the corporation’s move to save £15 million from their online budget and focus on public service content, the news network revealed on Tuesday afternoon, May 17, 2016.

According to a report from BBC, all existing recipes are likely to be archived but some might be transferred to the BBC Good Food website for commercial use. However, television recipes will remain posted on the site for the next 30 days before it vanishes from their online catalog.

Reports say that the change in the direction comes in line with the corporation’s goal to narrow its online focus after earning criticisms for venturing into a lot of areas. A member of its governing body, Richard Ayre, previously called on BBC to focus and leave unnecessary content that is also offered by other providers.

Meanwhile, chef Jack Monroe opted to transfer and publish 220 of her recipes from BBC Food to her own free blog. In addition to the BBC food articles, she also stated that more than 100 recipes from the Guardian newspaper will also be available in her blog.

Known as a chef who is very much willing to share her recipes to those who cannot buy cookbooks, and who admittedly learned to cook because of online recipes, Monroe aired her sentiments about the “abomination” on her Facebook page last May 10, saying: “I learned to cook on the dole using free recipes online and for the BBC to reduce this vital service is an abomination. (Apologies to all of my friends who work there, but I just don’t understand this.)

I hope I can go some way to filling the gap left for free, instructional, simple recipe resources and cookery guidance, which is vital for so many people,” she wrote. “I would rather be bankrupt than mercenary, and my blog is free and always will be.”

BBC also reported that Chancellor George Osborne described the website as becoming “a bit more imperial in its ambitions” and that there are issues that must be addressed carefully.