June 25, 2009

MLA to complete integration with creation of London team.

The MLA has announced that, following agreement with the Mayor of London’s Office, it will complete its national transformation with the creation of a regional team for London to be operational from April 2010.

Trustees of MLA London have agreed to support the changes and move to wind-up the last remaining regional MLA agency.

The changes will enable MLA staff supporting the sector in London to focus on core functions of driving improvement, providing advice and brokerage, advocating on behalf of the sector and its users, and levering in additional funding, while enabling MLA to reduce further its overhead costs.

The changes have been agreed following an independent review of MLA’s investment in the capital, which recognised the Mayor of London’s statutory responsibility for culture and his power to appoint the chair of MLA London.

The review also recognised the successes of MLA London and its staff in developing the London Cultural Improvement Programme in partnership with the other cultural agencies, the London boroughs, Government Office for London, and Capital Ambition, as well as other innovative programmes on adult skills and economic impact, and its ability to draw in funding for the sector from key stakeholders including the London Development Agency.

The new structure also proposes a London sub-group of MLA’s Board to focus on the delivery of priorities for the Capital.

Following its reorganisation last year, the MLA is already operating across the country in three other area teams covering the North, West and East, each headed by a Director of Engagement, supported by a Regional Manager in each English region and a small team of Area Engagement Advisors.

Andrew Motion, Chair of the MLA said: “The MLA’s transformation was designed to deliver a single light-footed national organisation operating effectively in every English region to help local government drive the development and improvement of museums, libraries and archives.

“We are delighted that London has embraced our changes in such a constructive way and will become a full part of the new MLA.  I want to pay tribute to the work of Geoffrey Bond and the trustees and staff of MLA London who are leaving such a strong legacy. We hope we can build on the many achievements of MLA London while preserving the unique features and opportunities of culture enabled by our Capital city.”