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CABE faces up to budget cuts as government axe begins to fall

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CABE still expects further budget cuts after being told by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that it must trim its spending by £602,000 before 1 June

On Monday (24 May), chancellor George Osborne fired his first fiscal warning shot at public bodies as he battled to make £6.2 billion of savings ahead of the government’s emergency Budget on 22 June.

However, CABE is bracing itself for more cutbacks when its co-funder, Communities and Local Government (CLG), announces its own spending plans. CLG is tasked with saving £780 million and has confirmed significant quango spending cuts at local levels.

CABE admitted cuts would hurt, but added that it aims to retain its 125 staff and 400 design reviewers – though some projects, such as the Sea Change local authority capital grants programme, might be scaled back.

CABE chairman Paul Finch said: ‘This shows the government’s supportive attitude to architecture and CABE has been borne out by relatively modest cuts. Obviously we understand public spending priorities and expect to make our contribution.’

Elsewhere, the regional development agencies that survive abolition will be told to save £270 million, and savings of £27 million are expected on the 2012 Olympic Games.

The fate of the self-funding ARB is yet to be sealed. But a senior RIBA source suggested that John Penrose’s replacement of Ed Vaizey as architecture minister has damaged the impetus to scrap the body.

Scores of housing projects risk being shelved as the Homes and Communities Agency announced cuts of £230 million, including £50 million from the Kickstart Round 2 housing delivery programme.


Other cuts announced this week

• English Heritage cut by £4.8 million

• No announcement on Building Schools for the Future

• Tate loses £2.1 million; Tate Modern extension safeguarded

• British Museum cut by £1.8 million; Rogers-designed extension to go ahead

• Regional development agencies cut by £270 million

• Infrastructure Planning Commission replaced with Major Infrastructure Unit

• Government office for London scrapped

• Sustainable Development Commission scrapped

• Low Carbon Buildings Programme scrapped

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