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First Welsh design chief makes training a priority

The new Design Commission for Wales has appointed its first director, Carole-Anne Davies.

Davies, currently director of CBAT The Arts and Regeneration Agency (formerly the Cardiff Bay Arts Trust), will take up the post on 5 April.

The Design Commission for Wales (DCfW), the principality's equivalent of CABE, was established in April 2002 to promote and support Welsh architecture.

Davies, who was on the original working party that instigated the new body, said her key priority for the year to come would be to examine and support the major projects planned for Wales. Schemes in the pipeline include Eric Kuhne Associates' redevelopment of Cardiff city centre, which was the subject of the commission's first scathing review last December (AJ 19.12.02), and the Prince's Foundation's plans for Llandarcy (see below).

Professional training will also be at the top of her agenda. And she promised to ensure that the commission would not confine its work to Cardiff, but would have a strong presence throughout Wales.

'The opportunity is a huge one for me personally and for Wales, ' Davies said.

DCfW chairman Richard Parnaby said Davies was a great organiser who would get the commission off to a good start. Her experience of working with local authorities and understanding of Welsh issues and the country's people would be key assets. 'She has enormous enthusiasm, ' he said.

'She's going to drive us all very hard.'

The organisation is currently exploring a number of options for a new home, which it hopes to have finalised within the next few weeks. It will also be advertising shortly for around 10 people to join its design review panel.

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