The DTI has announced the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) will be merged into a new Large Facilities Council.
The new council will be responsible for Particle Physics, astronomy, space science, nuclear physics, synchrotron radiation, neutron sources and high power lasers, and will manage the Rutherford Appleton and Daresbury laboratories. Its budget in 2007-08 will be around £530 million.
Science and Innovation Minister Lord Sainsbury said, “The creation of a Large Facilities Council will enable the UK to play a leading role in the next generation of large scale physical science projects. It will bring responsibility for these projects under a single umbrella, and will enable the UK to exploit fully the main synergies between the existing two Councils.
"The new council will be responsible for two science and innovation campuses at Harwell and at Daresbury, and will be better able to exploit their considerable potential for knowledge transfer, and as internationally competitive locations for large scale scientific facilities.”
The government aims to set up the new council so that it can take on its new functions by 1 April 2007.