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Contrary to the suggestions in your article 'The RIBA closes its North East office' (AJ 06.10.05), the RIBA commitment to the regions is absolute and it is precisely that commitment that has led to the changes reported in your article. A new head of strategic partnerships for the North region will strengthen our presence there and increase our influence with the public and private sector.

The economies of scale that result from the merger of the Newcastle and Leeds offices will enable us to employ more specialist staff, for the benefit of members in both the North region and Yorkshire.

These changes have been driven by our members in the North, who recognise that new ways of working will deliver an enhanced service. Our North Regional Council will continue to represent its members on RIBA Council and will monitor these new arrangements closely to ensure that the potential of the North region is maximised.

Nicholas Taylor, executive director, RIBA Professional Services John Devlin, chairman, RIBA North

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