Cuts Watch #295: Commission on Architecture and the Built Environment
The Spending Review announced that the Department for Culture Media and Sport will reduce its funding for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) in 2011-12 and withdraw it after that. It was already widely understood that the Design Review process, where CABE gives advice on significant planning applications, was likely to be a victim of the cuts, but this decision goes further than many expected.
Building Design reports that the Department for Communities and Local Government has also withdrawn its funding, though there is no mention of this on the DCLG website.
The cuts will mean that CABE is no longer able to fund the Architecture Centre Network of architectural and built environment centres, though the individual Centres rely on different funding sources.
There is still some uncertainty about CABE’s future. Building Design reports that the staff have been sent letters “warning ‘the majority’ of staff of the imminent loss of their jobs.” But Planning Resource reports a DCLG spokesperson as saying that the Department would
want to work with DCMS and CABE to find new ways of delivering through a more industry led, local partner based model with funding support focussed where it is really needed.
CABE’s website states:
CABE has not been abolished. It passed the Public Bodies Review. It remains the government’s statutory advisor on architecture, urban design and public space for the immediate future. The organisation is still conducting design review and delivering many of its programmes.
Meanwhile, we are taking stock of the decision and looking at options to create new ways to support and champion good design.