CABE has expanded its design review and advisory 'enabling' panels by more than two-thirds in preparation for an increase in its role.
The commission is promoting the leap from 30 to more than 100 panel members as an opportunity to increase the diversity of professionals contributing to the organisation's work. As well as architects, new names include planners, engineers, regeneration experts and, crucially for CABE, clients. New panel members include Pankaj Patel, Julia Barfield, Guy Battle, Simon Conder, Paul Monaghan and Elsie Owusu.
The expansion reflects the amount of new work CABE is undertaking in anticipation of a funding increase in April. The government-funded body will see its annual income rise from £1.5 million to £4.2 million - mostly from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
In a new arrangement, CABE's enablers will begin vetting all capital projects funded by the Arts Council. They will advise on urban design schemes for the 24 key towns and cities identified as priorities by housing and planning minister Lord Falconer (AJ 27.9.01). And they will be involved with 500 'Sure Start' projects around the country as well as increasing their work with local authorities.