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CIC calls for procurement priority on quality

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Building leaders are calling on the government to overhaul its method of procuring building projects to give priority to quality.

The Construction Industry Council wants Labour to use quality-based selection (qbs), similar but more up-to-date than the us Brooks Act method of procurement.

Graham Watts, chief executive of the cic, said the council was publishing a qbs document in the New Year and would use it to press the government to adopt such a method. It is based on a range of criteria such as experience of the practice, design approach, geographical location and personnel.

Cambridge arts funding crisis - the show might not go on

French practice Decq and Cornette's scheme to reshape the Cambridge Arts Cinema is in jeopardy following severe financial problems at the Arts Theatre, caused in part by its lottery-funded remodelling. Both buildings are owned by the Cambridge Arts Trust, which is making a number of strategic decisions following the 'serious financial difficulties' at the theatre which led to the appointment of an interim management team.

Alison Maguire, assistant interim general manager, said that the closure itself had contributed to the financial problems, partly because of a substantial over-run on the building contract, and partly because of an underestimate of re-opening costs. Architect for the redevelopment was Bland Brown Cole.

The Arts Trust is planning to sell off buildings including the Georgian Festival Theatre, and has set up a working party on the Arts Cinema aimed at 'maximising the value of the central site but maintaining an arts cinema on the site'. Until the working party reports, the Decq and Cornette appointment hangs in the balance.

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