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Tories table early day motion in bid to save Architecture Week

MPs have tabled an early day motion (EDM) in a bid to save Architecture Week, following the Arts Council's decision to pull its funding for next year's event.

The move, which follows last week's shock news that the government-sponsored organisation had suspended its £232,000 backing for the 2008 architectural festival ( Architecture Week scrapped after Arts Council pulls funding

), has been pushed through by shadow minister for culture Ed Vaizey.

The Conservative MP, who spoke at an RIBA debate during this year's Architecture Week, is calling for politicians to show their support for the event, which has been cancelled pending an Arts Council review.

Vaizey said: 'I was astonished to hear that the Arts Council has withdrawn funding for Architecture Week 2008.

'Having been to several events I know that the 2007 week was a huge success. Architecture and the built environment shape our lives.'

He added: 'Good architecture inspires and brings people together by providing a common reference point for us all. With the largest public-building programme for 50 years under way, the need to raise public awareness of the importance of good architecture has never been more pressing. It is a shame the Arts Council does not agree.'

Vaizey joins a growing number of architects, politicians and commentators outraged by the Arts Council decision - a band which includes Richard Rogers and London Biennale founder Peter Murray.

It is understood that 48 MPs have already signed the EDM on Architecture Week, lodged yesterday by the Tories' Department of Culture, Media and Sport team.

by Richard Waite

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