The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) is to be wound-up after the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) pulled its funding for the quango
With the commission’s official government sponsor deciding to remove its £5 million annual funding, it is understood CABE’s other major funder the CLG will also withdraw its financial support - worth nearly £7million last year.
According to AJ sources, the design watchdog could have been sacrificed to allow the government to press on with a number of major arts projects such as the Tate Britain and British Museum extensions. These projects were among a number of high-profile schemes safeguarded under the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).
The commission will be given a final payout of around £3.4 million to cover staff redundancy and pay up the existing tenancy agreements.
CABE chair Paul Finch said: ‘We are bitterly disappointed. We had got through two rounds of potential quango abolitions and we thought we had done enough to survive.’
Speculation is already rife that the commission could re-emerge in another format.
A DCMS spokesperson said: ‘Unfortunately the state of our public finances dictates that difficult choices had to be made. The most pressing need is to protect and maintain other parts of our culture and heritage.’