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Architects called on to bolster BBC's Big Arts Week initiative

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The BBC is asking architects to become ambassadors for the profession as part of its Big Arts Week this summer. Eighty top names have already agreed to take part in the project to inspire local children to learn about the built environment.

Volunteers will spend a day with children from a local school to 'broaden young people's access to the arts and to get them thinking creatively'.

Jeremy Dixon - who has agreed to participate along with Lord Rogers, Lord Foster and Sir Nicholas Grimshaw - applauded the project. 'If you are going to influence in any way the lack of visual subtlety that you sometimes get in this country, you have got to interest people young, ' he said.

The visits will take place during Big Arts Week, which will run from the 15-22 June. A series of programmes to be screened during the week will follow the progress of volunteers taking part.

BBC1 will also screen a programme this Sunday evening to encourage creatives across the arts to pledge their time. Volunteers will then be matched up with one of the 500 schools that have already signed up for the project. Big Arts Week, part of the ongoing BBC TimeBank initiative to encourage people to volunteer in their local community, is being supported by CABE.

TimeBank director for development Matthew Thomson said a key aim was to help children understand how the built environment comes about: 'It's a huge step for kids from very deprived areas to discover the built environment is put there by people like them and that they could do it themselves.'

Volunteers can pledge their time at www. bigartsweek. com or by calling Liz Curry at TimeBank on 020 7401 5420.

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