NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts has been granted full independence from the UK Government.
The move comes as part of the UK Government’s shake up of quangos (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations), which has dominated the headlines in the UK today.
According to the official document detailing the ‘quango cull’, NESTA is to ‘seek to establish as an independent charity’. It’s endowment is to be held in a separate trust.
"The NESTA Board welcomes this decision," said Sir John Chisholm, NESTA’s chairman. "It is an extremely positive move for NESTA and the many partner organisations we work with. It will enable us to continue our important work in providing evidence-based solutions to enable the UK to maximise the innovative talent of its people."
"We are delighted with this decision; it is an acknowledgement of the significant impact NESTA is having," added Jonathan Kestenbaum, NESTA’s chief executive. "Charitable status preserves and protects NESTA’s independent endowment, allowing us to continue, at no cost to the taxpayer, to back thousands of the most innovative ventures up and down the country."
The organisation has confirmed that it will continue to operate via lottery funding – as it always had done – meaning there will be no cost to the Government or taxpayer.
"We welcome this move which is of critical importance to so many community groups and organisations who are inspired by NESTA’s valuable work," concluded Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Final details of the timings of the transition are presently unconfirmed.