The Government announced on 22 March 2006 a consultation on a proposal to create a large facilities council. The consultation was announced in the document Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014: Next Steps, and the Government asked for responses on two principal questions as follows:
The Government would welcome views on whether all large facilities operations should be integrated under a new large facilities council, or whether there is a case for some facilities to remain under the management of other research councils.
Furthermore, in the event of a merger, should the grant-giving functions of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) be moved to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)?
Following this consultation, which closed on16 June, the Government have decided to create a new large facilities council by merging the current responsibilities of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC). PPARC’s grant-giving functions will not be transferred to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Responsibility for nuclear physics will be transferred from EPSRC to the new council. The Government aim to set up the new council so that it can take on its new functions by 1 April 2007.