The BBC has confirmed that it is set to close BBC Three as a broadcast TV channel in autumn 2015 subject to the approval of the BBC Trust.

A statement from the organisation said the move would save it £50 million a year with £30 million of that money going into drama on BBC One.

The BBC Three brand is being reinvented as a new online service.

In an email to BBC staff, Director General Tony Hall said “the BBC has taken incremental change as far as it can. Something has to give. And that means hard choices. But there is one choice I will never make - and that's to sacrifice quality.”

He also added that the organisation needs to constantly reinvent itself and emphasised the significance of the iPlayer to the future of public service broadcasting and how important it is to the BBC’s younger audiences – the BBC Three audiences.

Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, said: "This is the biggest strategic decision the BBC has made in over a decade. While it has been an extremely difficult decision born out of financial necessity, I believe it is also a creatively energising and innovative move.”

“In autumn 2015 we plan to close BBC Three as a linear TV Channel and in its place we will develop a bold, ambitious, future-facing new version of BBC Three online.”