The Natural Environment Research Council has announced that the "best option" for the National Oceanography Centre and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology would be to become charitable companies. It says an “in-depth process” will take place to test whether they are ready.
The centres, which have been part of a NERC governance and ownership review, will undergo a 1 to 2-year exercise looking into whether they have enough resources to become independent, NERC said in a statement on 10 December. The council added that it would also continue to consider alternative options for the future ownership of the British Geological Survey.
The announcement follows a story in Research Fortnight on 12 November revealing that staff at NOC and CEH had been told that the centres were proposing becoming independent charitable companies.