Scottish Borders Council has approved plans to put its libraries, museums, public halls and community centres into a charitable trust.
Officials said they needed to find annual savings of about £400,000 in their cultural services - which employ more than 200 people.
If the authority retained control, they said it would mean cuts to facilities.
That could have meant the closure of a number of sites across the region to meet the savings target.
Councillors agreed the approval in principle of plans to transfer cultural services to a trust.
A further report will be brought back later this year, with implementation of the move timetabled for October 2015.