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Architecture Week officially shelved

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The Arts Council confirms it is ditching Architecture Week

Architecture Week has officially been binned more than a year after the AJ first revealed the event was set to be scrapped.

Yesterday (3 December) the Arts Council England (ACE) said it was now looking at a ‘new policy for art, architecture and the built environment’ – hammering the final nail into the coffin for the national week-long jamboree.

The future of the annual event – which is also backed by the RIBA and the Architecture Centre Network and ran from 1997 to 2007 – was thrown into doubt in July last year, when the ACE decided to withdraw its £600,000 funding.

The ACE subsequently asked Leeds Metropolitan University to look at possible options for Architecture Week. The university suggested a number of ways forward, including focusing on regions or cities.

However, the ACE rejected any resurrection of the event, saying ‘the opportunities for the public to engage with architecture [had] changed dramatically over the last decade'.

Instead the council said it wanted to ‘look again at how [we] can best support a unique interaction that can so dramatically transform the environment in which people live'.

Richard Hastilow, chief executive of the RIBA, said: ‘We understand that in developing a new approach the Arts Council remains as committed to other projects that will promote architecture as they have been through Architecture Week.

‘The test for us of this will be both clarification of Arts Council policy and evidence of similar financial commitment.

‘So we welcome the Arts Council's intent to work with the RIBA and Architecture Centre Network to develop its policy on activities to demonstrate the benefits of good design and promote good place-making.’

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