The Crafts Council is to close its London exhibition and retail space in June, because the cost of running the site drained resources from its regional activities.
The surprise move is part of a programme to overhaul the way the organisation operates, leading to a greater focus on nationwide initiatives.
Owing to the changes, the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize is cancelled this year, but will resume in 2007 at an alternative venue, which is yet to be agreed.
Rather than hold its own events, the council will now attempt to secure partnerships with organisations that have ‘better equipped’ venues.
‘We are funded by the Arts Council England, with a remit to work across the country, and London often takes the lion’s share of resources, in terms of money and people,’ explains Flora Craig, director of development at the Crafts Council.
‘We are now looking to partners to develop projects which are of interest to the craft sector. We won’t be generating our own exhibitions and touring them,’ adds Craig.
Sir Nicholas Goodison stepped down as chairman in November 2005 after conducting a review of the council’s activities. Director Louise Taylor stepped down at the same time.