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NO BUDGET INCREASE FOR EH

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English Heritage has hit out at the government after it refused to reward a real term increase in its budget during the comprehensive spending review. EH received only an 8 per cent increase in its £112 million budget over the next three years and will now have to shelve expansion plans for projects such as its historic regeneration scheme which offers seed corn capital to small businesses in run-down conservation areas. 'We are disappointed to face no real increase at a time when other agencies in the sector have received substantial increases, ' said EH head of central planning Rowan Whimster. The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment more than doubled its annual £1.5 million budget to £3.53 million in the spending round (AJ 27.7.00). EH claims it needs an extra £400 million to safeguard the buildings on its 'At Risk' register alone. But the settlement is the first time under Labour that EH's budget has not decreased in real terms and this was welcomed by Whimster. He added that EH will also attempt to influence the spending of the £800 million which has been earmarked for neighbourhood renewal programmes by the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions. There will be no increase in the EH budget next year, an extra £7 million in 2002-03 and a further £2 million in 2003-04.

At the fashion museum, flats have been created above the existing building, which is being converted to form the museum, and sold to fund the £2 million building cost. Future Legoretta projects include an apartment block next to the Guggenheim in Bilbao.

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