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Members tell RIBA it's still too remote

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Members still find the riba too London-focused, and the Portland Place hq too remote and inaccessible. These are among the key findings of a market research study carried out by the Business Research Unit.

The study showed these to be among the key issues for riba members, along with concern about the need to promote architecture and architects, and worries about protection of the position of architects and their livelihood.

Anne Rigg, who carried out the research, said: 'Architects fall into two broad groups - those who are doing reasonably well and see the riba as a force for the greater good, and an equal or larger proportion who are very needy of the riba and are looking to it to protect their fees and livelihood.'

Seven activities were chosen by focus groups of members as the most important, receiving more than 15 per cent of the votes. They were: regional cpd; marketing of architects; Clients' Advisory Service; education of architects; support for practices; political lobbying; and legal advice service.

Caroline Cole, who runs the cas, conducted the focus groups with Richard Feilden. She told council: 'The riba needs to get its collective house in order. Members want local dissemination of riba services to members. We do not have to devise the services locally - but we have to deliver them locally.'

Feilden stressed that although the research was a valuable guide to the directions the riba should take, its role was not to dictate policy. 'This does not determine how we spend the budget,' he said. 'We have to decide that.'

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