Sir Andrew Motion has joined Arts Council England in a move that confirms the council’s intention to strengthen its expertise in museums and libraries.
The current chair of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) has been appointed to the Arts Council’s National Council as an observer. It will also continue to attempt to fulfil its new responsibilities through the retention of key MLA staff in the future.
Among other things, the Arts Council agreed last year to assume responsibility for the MLA’s Renaissance in the Regions programme. As part of this latest announcement, the pair have also outlined plans for the funding of Renaissance in 2011/12 and the blueprint for development of the programme beyond this period.
Sir Andrew Motion said: “I am heartened by the commitment that is being shown to making the transfer of responsibilities to the Arts Council work.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to work together with colleagues on the boards of both the Arts Council and the MLA, to help play a part in ensuring museum and library voices get heard at the table.”
Alan Davey, chief executive, Arts Council England, said: “Although there are considerably less funds available than in previous years, and we have some tough decisions ahead, there is room for ambition alongside pragmatism.
“I am passionate about the importance of regional museums and libraries to the quality of our country’s cultural life and the Arts Council is committed to championing and developing them as a wonderful resource for future generations.
“We will continue to collaborate closely with our MLA colleagues to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities and to preserve key expertise and I am thrilled that Sir Andrew Motion will be joining our National Council. His knowledge and eloquence will be invaluable as we assume the important duty of advocating for the interests of museum and library users in this country.”
MLA chief executive Roy Clare said: “There is a lot of work to be done, and tough decisions caused by very tight financial circumstances, but I am delighted that we have built a constructive dialogue that combines the need for pragmatic solutions with a shared long term vision for the best possible museum and library services and collections across England."
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