Arts: New Unit to Develop Policies for Museums and Libraries

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A NEW unit to develop and implement policies for local museums, libraries and archives throughout Wales will be established within the National Assembly and funded by an annual budget of pounds 2m.

CyMAL (Museums Archives and Libraries Wales) will incorporate some functions currently undertaken by the Council of Museums in Wales and cover the whole sector including archives, which has not previously had a national body fun-ded by the National Assembly to serve its interests.

It will be established from April 1 2004 and will have up to 25 staff largely comprising experts from the sector. It will be located outside Cardiff and a decision on the exact location will be announced in the new year.

There will also be an advisory council chaired by Culture Minister Jenny Randerson which will enable the sector to contribute to policy development. ``This is very good news for the sector,'' said Ms Randerson.

``It will mean, for example, an extra pounds 1.25m in 2004/05 which will bring about long-term solutions and improved services to users. …