Mr Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what the responsibilities of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council are; and how he intends such responsibilities to be discharged in the future. [12103]

Mr Jeremy Hunt: The Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA) Council has a range of responsibilities as the strategic and expert body for the museums, libraries and archives sectors. In particular it is responsible for administering and funding the 'Renaissance in the Regions' programme for regional museums, carries out improvement and best practice work with library authorities and has a non-statutory function to advise Government on library policy. It also has responsibility for the provision of services in relation to cultural objects on behalf of the Secretary of State.

The key functions of the MLA will be transferred to other existing organisations within the next Government spending period although no arrangements have been finalised. Officials will work with the MLA ahead of its closure to ensure the smooth transfer of key functions.

The MLA website gives further information about current programmes and activities and more details on the Renaissance programme, library advisory, improvement and best practice work and the provision of services for cultural property:

Corporate records, including annual reviews, business plans and funding agreements can be found at the following link: