The possibility of a ‘Scottish Six’ is no more - it has been replaced by a new bulletin, the Scottish Nine.

The BBC has surprised pundits, politicians and its own journalists by announcing plans for a new BBC digital channel for Scotland, with a hour long news bulletin, with national and international news, between 9pm and 10pm.

The new channel, BBC Scotland, will broadcast from the autumn of next year, backed by funds of £19m and the creation of 80 new journalism jobs.

Agenda: At the BBC we need to make Scots news coverage as relevant as we can

The BBC said the move was made because there was a "huge appetite from audiences in Scotland for more content that reflects their lives."

The decades-long debate over whether Scotland should have its own hour-long evening news bulletin is, however, over, with Tony Hall, the director general, instead opting for the establishment of the new channel, to be run by BBC Scotland controller Donalda MacKinnon.

The channel will broadcast from 7pm to midnight every night, and will be available online and in iPlayer.

The BBC said that with its own budget and other funding, the channel will have an initial budget of over £30m.

The channel will feature new programmes "acquired programmes and programmes from partners in the creative sector and from other countries and a selection of content sourced from other BBC services."

The 9pm news bulletin will, they said, "provide comprehensive reporting and analysis of the news at the end of the day from a Scottish perspective" but will be 15 minutes long at weekends.

Agenda: At the BBC we need to make Scots news coverage as relevant as we can

It will "draw on the best news content from network news and Reporting Scotland, reworking where necessary, and include substantial original journalism from an expanded BBC Scotland specialist team."

The BBC said: "It will not compete with any other terrestrial news programmes and will offer audiences an alternative to high-end drama and entertainment scheduled at this time on other channels."

Discussing the Scottish Six, a BBC statement said: "The BBC looked at the option of a Scottish Six, but we believe that there is no significant Scotland vs. UK gap in appreciation for the Six o’clock News or 6.30pm news programme. The Six has performed strongly in Scotland in recent years."

The BBC is also to increase funding by another £1.2m to BBC Alba, the Gaelic channel.

Agenda: At the BBC we need to make Scots news coverage as relevant as we can

Writing in for The Herald today, Lord Hall says: "People in Scotland love great television.

"And you’re not shy at telling us what you think about our content. Most of the time you tell us you like our programmes – particularly our comedy, our factual documentaries and our high-quality drama such as Shetland.

"But you also say you’d like more of these quality programmes, particularly more that you feel are rooted in Scotland and in Scottish life and culture."

Hall said that the plan was made "focused above all on providing quality and choice."

He added: "The initial budget for our new channel – BBC Scotland – will be over £30 million, and there will be a new, hour-long news programme, edited and presented in Glasgow, at its heart."

Sarah Smith, the Scotland Editor of the BBC said: "Viewers accustomed to getting their news at tea time may not immediately develop the habit of watching a digital channel at 9pm.

Agenda: At the BBC we need to make Scots news coverage as relevant as we can

"But for those who wanted a news programme reflecting the world from a Scottish perspective, produced and presented from Scotland - the BBC is now delivering what they asked for.The Scottish Six is dead. Long live the Scottish Nine."

Bobby Hain, director of channels at STV, said: “We are looking forward to the launch of STV’s new channel for Scotland, STV2, in spring 2017.

"Announced in September 2016, the new channel will include the first integrated Scottish, UK and international news programme.

"STV News Tonight is a key part of STV’s commitment to engaging news and current affairs and will be broadcast live, week nights at 7pm with new news anchor Halla Mohieddeen. We welcome the BBC’s enhanced commitment to the Scottish creative industries.”