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Goldschmied asks Hyett to push architecture centres

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RIBA president Marco Goldschmied has asked presidential hopeful Paul Hyett to take forward plans for a network of new architecture centres on behalf of the institute.

Goldschmied asked Hyett to look into the matter in the light of the publication of the Urban White Paper and to pay particular regard to the question of funding the network of about 14 centres, potentially with other institutes and bodies allied to construction.

Hyett will meet with Lord Rogers early next month on the subject of the Urban White Paper and Lord Rogers' task force proposals as part of his groundwork for if he wins the presidency, with a special emphasis on measures to 'speed up and refine' the planning system. But Hyett will also use the meeting to talk on the subject of architecture centres, and plans to consult with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, Construction Industry Council, existing architecture centres and the chairs of the RIBA regions. Hyett will prepare an interim report on the network of centres for the next meeting of the RIBA's policy management board on 24 January.

Each regional centre would cost about £250,000 each year for staff and premises, which is beyond the means of the institute alone.

RIBA London region is to stage an open debate with the three presidential candidates on 1 February at 6pm in a free event at Portland Place. Hyett and Alex Reid have confirmed so far. Call 020 7307 3688 for more details.

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