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Resurrected Architecture Centre Network to be UK-wide

The successor to the Architecture Centre Network (ACN) will go beyond just England to cover the entire UK

Renamed the Architecture Built Environment Centre Network (ABECN), the umbrella body replaces the Architecture Centre Network (ACN) which shut down last June following funding cuts.

The organisation will represent 15 former ACN members but could grow to include centres in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Due to funding arrangements the ACN was only able to work with English bodies.

Set to launch next month, the membership organisation will pool expertise and campaign on behalf of the architecture centres. It will be much smaller than its predecessor with no paid staff.

Its detailed programme will be devised by a governing comprising representatives of each member body.

Victoria Thornton of Open-City, who is a former ACN board member and now ABECN director, explained that limited funding meant the new set-up was the best way forward for the network.

In a statement, she said: ‘The detailed programme will be set by the membership, and rather than a central administration we will all share existing resources to support the core activity which will effectively replace the former Architecture Centre Network.’

Thornton added more government support was needed for centres. ‘We will be making that case as one of our early actions and showing the positive links between Neighbourhood Plans, Community Empowerment and Local Economic activity linked through our work to Design Quality, Civic Action and Place-making.’ 

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