Roy Clare to leave MLA in May - Museums Association

Roy Clare to leave MLA in May

MLA chief executive to take up museum director role
Profile image for Rebecca Atkinson
Rebecca Atkinson
Roy Clare, chief executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), is leaving the body at the end of May to become the director of the Auckland War Memorial Museum in New Zealand.
The MLA is being wound up, with the majority of its functions transferring to the Arts Council England (ACE) from 1 October 2011. Under proposals unveiled last month, ACE will create 53 new posts to enable it to take over from the MLA, with the most senior museum position expected to be a London-based director of museums and Renaissance.

There will also be a Birmingham-based director of standards with responsibility for Accreditation, Designation and the MLA’s Acquisitions, Exports and Licensing Unit.

Clare will leave the MLA at the end of May, when the current period of consultation with staff will end. In a statement, the board of the MLA said it was not “value for money” or necessary to continue with a full-time chief executive role during the transition period.

Paul Lander, corporate services director, will take charge of the MLA as it completes the transfer of key functions to ACE.

Andrew Motion, chairman of the MLA, praised Clare for “the amazing transformation that he achieved within the MLA”. He added: “This is a hard act to follow, but I have every confidence that the MLA will be very efficiently and effectively run under the leadership of Paul Lander, with the expertise of the executive board, during the last months of its existence.”
Clare will take up his new role in New Zealand in July. In a message to staff, he said: “It has been a unique privilege to work with the MLA’s talented and dedicated staff through very fast-moving and challenging years where much has been achieved.

"It was never in my game plan to see the MLA fall victim to the non-departmental public body cull. After a far-reaching cost-cutting overhaul and a relentless focus on supporting the sector in improvement, the MLA was in great shape to support progress in museums, libraries and archives across the country.”

He added that there are potential benefits of museums becoming part of a holistic model for culture and the arts within ACE. “So far the signs are promising – the arts council has shown great enthusiasm for the task and considerable skill in managing recent decisions about funding for the arts.”

In his new role, Clare will help the board of Auckland Museum deliver its vision for the museum and culture across the city.

“In Auckland I will have an exciting opportunity to learn about the Kiwi lifestyle, starting with building up a strong understanding of Maori culture and learning to speak the language,” Clare said. “I will be helping the Board of Auckland Museum to deliver their ambitious plan of action, which foresees their great museum and its unique collections thriving at the heart of the city.”

Clare joined the MLA as chief executive in September 2007. Previously, he was director of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, between 2000 and 2007. He was awarded the CBE for services to museums in June 2007.


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