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Ed Vaizey assures bright future for S4C

BBC to take over funding responsibility from 2013.

The culture minister Ed Vaizey has assured the Welsh broadcaster S4C of a "very bright" future with the government's "generous" funding settlement.

Speaking at a debate about S4C's funding at Westminster Hall, he allayed S4C's fears that the S4C Authority may lose its independence when BBC takes over the broadcaster from 2013.

He said the broadcaster had not been "singled out" for cuts in any manner or treated differently to any other department or organisation in the government's Comprehensive Spending Review.

"I want to absolutely put on record the government's support for Welsh-language programming and S4C's future role in Welsh-language programming," he said.

Saying that S4C will also get £3m in commercial revenue, programming worth about £20m from the BBC and £27m in reserve funding for use in delivering its statutory obligations apart from its regular funding, he added: "To my mind that is a substantial sum of money to secure the future of Welsh programming,"

His comments were in response to a furious reaction by S4C, which is facing cuts of 24.4% in real terms to its £102m annual budget over the next four years, over the BBC taking over its funding responsibility from 2013.