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Developer seeks architects for £11.6m London projects

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A consortium led by developer Urban Catalyst is looking for architects to sign up to a new £11.6 million social initiative to improve five areas of central London. Launched yesterday, organisers hope the pilot programme will eventually be rolled out across the country.

Called the 'Circle Initiative', the programme is being led by Urban Catalyst, eight inner-London councils and the Central London Partnership.

Private firms including Chelsfield and Land Securities are also contributing.

Each project has been conceived to regenerate neglected spaces through a combination of architectural interventions and social programmes, such as community policing and improved litter collection. Ken Dytor, chief executive of Urban Catalyst and chairman of the Circle Initiative, wants to see architects tackling elements such as street furniture, lighting and the regeneration of public spaces. 'There is a major role for architects to play in the process, ' he said. 'What we don't want to do is produce one type of product which fits our needs but does not fit others around the country.'

The areas selected are: Red Lion Square in Holborn; Bankside in Southwark; Coventry Street near Leicester Square; Praed Street in Paddington;

and Lower Marsh close to Waterloo Station. The programme will be based on the Business Improvement District ideas pioneered in the US.

The consortium has secured £4.6 million from the Single Regeneration Budget and hopes to raise a further £7 million through private sources. Call 020 7665 1550 for details.

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