Access Keys:


Large Facilities Governance Framework

A two-tier governance system is in place across RCUK to manage the UK large facilities; Central Laser Facility, Diamond Light Source and ISIS Neutron and Muon Source:

  • a high level Large Facilities Advisory Board to advise on current and future national and international facility requirements;
  • a Large Facilities Implementation Group to oversee the activities and budgets of the UK national large facilities

Large Facilities Advisory Board

The Large Facilities Advisory Board reports to the Director General for Knowledge and Innovation (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)) with responsibility for providing clear advice on:

  • national and international requirements for large facilities;
  • future facility developments and the development of new national facilities that require national level funding;
  • the budget for funding large facilities including where required decisions on growth or reduction at a facility level, whilst accepting the responsibility for the impact of these decisions on the RCUK funding allocation and the scientific community.

Membership of this Board includes every Research Council Chief Executive or nominated representative, and a small number of other major funding and large user stakeholders.

Independent review of National Large Facilities at Harwell

To enable BEIS and STFC to review the appropriateness of the current operational models of the three UK National Facilities at Harwell; the Central Laser Facility, ISIS neutron and muon source, and the Diamond Light Source, BEIS commissioned an Independent Review to identify whether there were any potential radical solutions for putting the facility operation onto a lower-cost footing and articulate the risks of any proposals. The review was chaired by Dick Elsy, the CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and reported to BEIS in April 2017.

Large Facilities Implementation Group

The Large Facilities Advisory Board delegate to a Large Facilities Implementation Group, chaired by the RCUK Executive Director, the responsibility for:

  • developing clear proposals for the funding and development of the UK large facilities;
  • implementing Ministers’ decisions; and
  • monitoring delivery

The Implementation Group has specific responsibility to:

  1. Produce an agreed Research Funders’ Requirements document  in advance of each Spending Review period.

  2. Produce an agreed Research Councils’ recommendation for levels of funding to UK large national facilities, as part of each Spending Review bidding process.

  3. Assess Facilities’ Directors Business Plans for alignment with Ministers’ decisions prior to approval by STFC Council and the Diamond Light Source Limited Board.

  4. Request and monitor the overall outputs (financial data including income from routes other than the facilities funding model, operational data, scientific data and people metrics) of each facility against their approved Business Plan on a regular basis, flagging to BEIS Director Research Base significant deviations from Business Plans with, if necessary, recommendations for corrective action within the Spending Review period.

  5. Maintain oversight of the audit programme for the facilities.

  6. Review and recommend priorities for future facility developments (considering both capital and operating costs) including the development of new cross-Council broad based facilities.

  7. Review the operation of the facilities funding model at the completion of each SR cycle, to ensure that it is developed appropriately and remains fit for purpose, and adjust as required.

  8. Communicate with the user community at the annual user meetings.

  9. Advise STFC as Large Facilities’ Managing Agent on the UK’s engagement and funding of the ESRF, ESS and ILL, in so far as these impact on the UK large national facilities.

The Implementation Group includes STFC as the Large Facilities’ Managing Agent, the Facilities’ Directors, representatives of other Research Councils to ensure that cross-Council user research views are coordinated.

Outputs from Large Facilities Implementation Group meetings can be found here.

Freedom of Information | Cookies and Privacy | Terms and Conditions | © Research Councils UK 2014