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20 April

Support and leadership for the UK's archive sector will transfer to The National Archives from April 2012 following the closure of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has announced.

The MLA's current role, as the government's agency for developing and improving England's museums, libraries and archives, involves acting as advocate for over 2,000 bodies in the archive sector and helping archives improve their services and public access. Responsibilities are being transferred to The National Archives following the Government's review of arm's length bodies.

Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey said: 'The UK's 2,000 archives are the gateway to our national heritage and The National Archives is perfectly placed to take on this leadership role, acting as an advocate for the sector and strengthening and reinforcing our network of archive provision.' 

Looking to the future

Challenges will include the growing need to manage digital information, promoting an innovative approach to delivering the highest standards in service, and responding to public demand for online access to digitised content.

Welcoming the move, Oliver Morley, Chief Executive and Keeper, The National Archives said, 'Even in tough financial circumstances, our focus will continue to be on sustaining and preserving the record, and making it more accessible to the public and volunteers than it ever has been before.'

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is now working with The National Archives and the MLA on the transfer of responsibilities and the timing of the transfer. 

Read more on the Department of Culture, Media and Sport website.