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RIBA Trust set for shake-up

RIBA council members will today vote on controversial plans to dissolve the institution’s cultural arm, the RIBA Trust, as a separate, autonomous entity

The AJ has learned that a confidential paper is set to go before today’s council meeting (9 December) which includes ‘streamlining’ proposals to ‘bring in-house’ the seven-year-old trust which is responsible for running exhibitions, the library and organising the Stirling Prize and Royal Gold Medal.

The move is understood to be part of a bid to reduce internal red tape. The RIBA has insisted the change will not affect its functions.

Expected to be rubber stamped, opposition to the RIBA board-backed proposal is hoping to delay the vote until members reconvene in the spring.

‘Slowly but surely it’s the erosion of all the cultural programme the RIBA was set up to do, RIBA has increasingly focused on commercial activity that it can earn money from,’ said one council member.

They added: ‘It’s fundamental, you can’t have the RIBA without a cultural program.’

The agenda item paper was despatched in a revised form to members one week prior to today’s meeting, raising criticisms that time was limited to consult members at branch and regional level.

Norman Foster in October delivered this year’s RIBA Trust annual lecture on the theme of ‘performance’.

RIBA Trust director Charles Knevitt was unavailable to comment.

Further information and a full, explanatory response from the RIBA is expected later today.

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