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Arb spot-checks architects for indemnity insurance

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The arb has launched a spot-check of architects to discover whether or not they have Professional Indemnity Insurance (pii). It has sent its survey to 1500 of its members asking them for details of their pii or, if they do not have any, the reasons why not. Richard Coleman, deputy registrar of the arb, hopes that as well as checking on the state of pii, which is compulsory for practising architects, this will work as a more general information-gathering exercise.

'One of the problems with the 30,000 architects on the register,' said Coleman, 'is that we don't know anything about them. How many are working, how many practise.'

Despite the start of the holiday season, the responses are, said Coleman, 'coming back thick and fast.' The results will be presented to the arb board in October and after that, said Coleman, if people still do not have pii or a valid reason not to have it, 'we will be writing to them again in more robust terms'.

Work on a dramatic £10 million drum-shaped visitor centre on the shores of Loch Lomond has started. Page and Park and White Associates' design will have 45m-diameter stone walls wrapping round a wide-format cinema, shops, cafe and viewing areas. The 'iconic design' is due to open in 2001 and is part of a £60 million development called Lomond Shores: the Spirit of Loch Lomond. It will include shops and a a restaurant by Percy Johnson-Marshall & Partners and a 100-bed hotel and play areas for which architects have still to be appointed. The 40ha scheme is being spearheaded by Dumbartonshire Enterprise, which aims to make it one of Scotland's top three attractions, along with Edinburgh Castle and the capital's zoo.

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