NERC continues with process to consider charitable status for new ownership model for two of its research centres

24 July 2015

NERC Council has affirmed its decision to proceed to the next stage of a process considering changes in the ownership and governance of two of its research centres, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).

While no decision to change the status and move the centres out of NERC has been taken, NERC will continue to take steps to test their readiness for changes in their ownership and governance.

NERC made this decision at its most recent Council meeting in mid-July.

NERC Council has decided to proceed with a process that assures them that changes to the ownership and governance of CEH and NOC respect the centres' unique roles, and ensures their long-term sustainability and contribution to world-leading UK environmental science and innovation. NERC will continue to consider the full range of options for the future ownership and governance of the British Geological Survey. There are no plans to change the status of the British Antarctic Survey.

CEH and NOC support the decision to proceed to the next stage of the process and agree that further exploration of the proposed model is the right way forward to protect and recognise their unique roles.

NERC Council continues to affirm the importance of sustaining long-term funding to its research centres. This will remain the case, regardless of changes in ownership and governance.

Council will continue to adhere to an approximately one- to two-year timescale that will ensure the centres are fully equipped if they are to make a successful transition to independent operation. Further cross-government consultation and agreement is required alongside a process of testing readiness before any final decisions are made.


Further information

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