Thousands of people are urging the BBC to back down on its decision to scrap thousands of online recipes as part of cost-cutting measures. The BBC announced it will remove more than 11,000 recipes as part of plans to save as much as £15m ($21m) from its online budget.
The corporation said it will keep recipes from its many popular TV cooking shows online for 30 days before being completely removed. However, it is believed some of the recipes could still be moved to its commercial BBC Good Food website.
The BBC said the decision arrived as its services had to be "high-quality, distinctive, and offer genuine public value". The broadcaster added: "While our audiences expect us to be online, we have never sought to be all things to all people and the changes being announced will ensure that we are not."
The announcement arrived following the publication of the government's White Paper, the highly anticipated report revealing plans the BBC will be run for the foreseeable future, including closing a loophole which allowed people to view iPlayer without paying a licence fee.
The move from the BBC to remove its recipes has already been met with a backlash. An online petition on Change.org entitled Save the BBC's Recipe archive has already attracted nearly 20,000 signatures.
The woman who started the petition, Emma B, writes: "This is a much loved and used website and a precious resource for people across the country providing easy, free and importantly independent information on a vast range of foods and recipe options. The database provides inspiration for those with a few ingredients to come up with meal ideas and cook from scratch.
"When the government is trying to promote healthy eating, surely it is madness to remove such a comprehensive archive which has taken years to create, not to mention time and money. Whilst maintaining and developing it undoubtedly takes investment, simply retaining the archive in its current form is surely not an overly expensive task, especially measured against the meagre cost savings and the loss to the community, as evidenced by the outcry on social media."
Update: The BBC confirmed its Food website will be closed and "expected to be archived or mothballed" - as happens to other old BBC sites. It added the site will no longer be updated or linked to, but denies the recipes will be deleted.
It added over In the next 12 months, the following services will either be closed or scaled down: