The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment this week received a major blow to its funding plans after the government rejected its calls for more cash.
cabe's chairman, Stuart Lipton, was told on Monday by arts minister Alan Howarth that architecture's case for more money must be improved before the government dips into its pockets again.
cabe currently receives a £1.5 million a year budget but wanted to increase this to around £10 million to finance plans to treble the commission's staff, run a campaign to push the importance of good housing and to begin an extensive education programme to spread the message that good design equals good value (aj 16.3.00).
Lipton said the Department for Culture, Media and Sport remains unconvinced by his argument for more money for architecture. 'Architecture needs many times more money than this. The arts receive far more but contribute nothing like the same amount to the uk economy,' he said.
Architecture's £1.5 million is in contrast with funding for the rest of the arts. This year the government is spending £237 million on Arts Council grants. Spending on construction is £25 billion - 10 per cent of the uk's gross domestic product.
But the commission also wants to create a network of regional architecture centres and this may not be reliant on central government funding - cabe may approach the new regional development agencies for cash for this initiative.