DCMS makes play for Arts Council to take on MLA's library work

DCMS makes play for Arts Council to take on MLA's library work

<p>The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council&#39;s library development work is &quot;likely&quot; to go to Arts Council England (ACE) by end of March 2012, culture minister Ed Vaizey has announced. The MLA&#39;s Renaissance in the Regions project for museums would also transfer to ACE. </p><p>However Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England said the body&#39;s discussions with DCMS &quot;continue&quot;. He said: &quot;The work of the MLA is very important and it is necessary to take the time to ensure that any new arrangements will work smoothly and benefit museums and libraries, the wider cultural sector and the audiences they serve. It is also important to ensure that, in assuming additional functions, the Arts Council is given the proper resources to do the best possible job.&rdquo;<br /><br />The DCMS said additional funding of over &pound;46m each year from 2012/13 will be available to enable ACE to deliver the work. ACE was recently told it must reduce its running costs by 50%.</p><p>Vaizey said: &quot;I am very grateful for the hard work [MLA chief executive] Roy Clare, [MLA chair] Sir Andrew Motion and the team at the MLA have put in, particularly in the past few months, but in a difficult financial climate it makes little sense to have different organisations working separately towards the same ends. That is why we are working to bring together responsibility for the arts, museums and libraries in a single organisation. The Arts Council has an exciting opportunity to integrate the MLA&rsquo;s expertise and bridge some artificial divides between different aspects of cultural funding and get the maximum bang for the taxpayer&rsquo;s buck.&quot;</p><p>Clare said the MLA had been &quot;consistently supportive of the aim to direct funding to the front line and ensure that strategic advice to local government and other important providers of cultural services is joined up and holistic,&quot; adding staff had shown &quot;exemplary professionalism&quot; at a difficult time. </p>