From quangos to charities, the government decides

British Waterways and the Design Council among public bodies to be made charities

Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal

At least five charities will be created and one shut down as a result of changes to non-departmental public bodies announced by the government.

The Alcohol Education and Research Council, British Waterways, the Design Council, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts and the Schools Food Trust will all become charities. The SFT will also set up a community interest company.

The announcement confirmed that the Commission for the Compact, the infrastructure body Capacitybuilders, the Office for Civil Society Advisory Body and the Community Development Foundation will all lose their government funding as part of the government's quango review.

British Waterways, with an annual income of £223m, will become one of the sector's largest organisations.

The Theatres Trust and the Community Development Foundation, charities previously also considered to be NDPBs, will become independent. More than 20 cultural organisations with charitable status will be "retained" as non-departmental public bodies, including the British Museum, Kew Gardens, the National and Tate Galleries and the Natural History Museum.

The announcement also confirmed a decision taken in July that the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, a cultural support charity with a turnover of £68m, would be closed and its functions transferred to other bodies.

Stephen Lloyd, head of charities at law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite, said the government could shut down the MLA, because the culture secretary was both the main funder and the sole member of the charity, and could appoint and dismiss trustees.

* See Editorial

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