BBC Trust

The BBC Trust was the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) between 2007 and 2017. It was operationally independent of BBC management and external bodies, and its stated aim was to make decisions in the best interests of licence-fee payers. On 12 May 2016, it was announced in the House of Commons that, under the next Royal charter, the regulatory functions of the BBC Trust were to be transferred to Ofcom.

BBC Trust
PredecessorBoard of Governors of the BBC
SuccessorBBC Board
Ofcom
Formation1 January 2007; 14 years ago (2007-01-01)
Dissolved2 April 2017; 4 years ago (2017-04-02)
Headquarters180 Great Portland Street, London
Chairman
Rona Fairhead
Vice Chairman
Sir Roger Carr
Websitewww.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust

The trust was established by the 2007 Royal charter for the BBC, which came into effect on 1 January in that year. The trust, and a formalised Executive Board, replaced the former Board of Governors. The decision to establish the trust followed the Hutton Inquiry, which had heavily criticised the BBC for its coverage of the death of David Kelly; Labour's political opponents, as well as large numbers of its supporters, saw the Hutton Inquiry as a whitewash, designed to deflect criticism from Tony Blair's government.[1]

In summary, the main roles of the Trust are in setting the overall strategic direction of the BBC, including its priorities, and in exercising a general oversight of the work of the Executive Board. The Trust will perform these roles in the public interest, particularly the interest of licence fee payers. — BBC Royal Charter (2006)[2]

The BBC Trust closed on 2 April 2017 at the expiry of the 2007 Royal Charter, which had a 10-year lifespan. Labour had lost power in 2010, and other political parties had established a parliamentary majority by the time it came to the moment for a new Royal Charter to be written. Governance of the BBC was transferred to the new BBC Board in April 2017, with Ofcom assuming regulatory duties.