The Museum Libraries & Archives Council (MLA) is to be abolished as part of a restructure of the Department for Culture Media & Sport’s (DCMS) 55 arm’s length bodies, the department has announced.
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt outlined plans for the MLA to be wound up by April 2012 but he insisted government support for museums, libraries and archives will continue.
Other high profile casualties include the UK Film Council, which will also be abolished, while UK Sport and Sport England, are set to be merged, as are the National Lottery Commission and the Gambling Commission.
The news comes with the Local Government Association and the now doomed MLA spearheading a programme to reform library services.
MLA chair Sir Andrew Motion and chief executive Roy Clare said: “Faced with an unforeseen degree of economic pressure, government has chosen to balance the books and to prioritise the rationalisation of its existing cultural agencies as a contribution.”
Culture minister, Ed Vaizey, said: “Sir Andrew Motion and Roy Clare have shown great leadership of the MLA and have made great strides in the last two years to streamline the organisation, significantly improving efficiency and effectiveness.
“However, there is now an opportunity to integrate Renaissance and the other important functions of the MLA into the wider cultural framework.”