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RIBA reveals 'healthy' finances and membership

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The riba is to unveil a 'healthy' financial position in its annual report, with a surplus of £920,000 between income and expenditure.

Honorary treasurer Colin James is to reveal the bottom-line 1998 figures of £8.355 million income and £7.439 million expenditure at the next riba council meeting on 19 May, after his first full year in the post 'amid radical riba decisions'. He will show that despite strategic changes to committee organisation, for instance, the institute has maintained a policy of careful housekeeping, has improved monitoring of day-to-day spending with the appointment of a management accountant, and is moving towards a three-month spending reserve. Just over half of the £8.355 million net income came from subscriptions, while the largest chunk of expenditure (including surplus transfer to reserves) was 17.34 per cent, or £1.45 million, on public affairs. This was closely followed by the library, which ate up 17.25 per cent (£1.44 million) of the expenditure 'pie'. riba companies contributed £790,000 of the total income, an increase of 7 per cent over the previous year - figures do not include balt funds or the value of the Special Collections.

President David Rock said the finances were in good shape despite an annual increase in expenditure and continuous reduction of the subscription rate, in real terms, over the last few years. This is due to a mixture of prudence, growing profits of RIBA companies, and increases in all classes of membership during 1998, including the new subscriber class. 'The fact that more people are voting with their feet to join the riba - a six per cent rise in overall membership this year,' said Rock, 'is perhaps the best single measure of our success.'

Ground-breaking furniture of the last quarter of a century was at the riba this week in the launch of a Studio Myerscough-designed show to celebrate the 25th birthday of furniture and lighting specialist Coexistence. The furniture figured as part of a show at Gallery 1 at the Architecture Gallery, which runs until 24 May. The stackable chair shown is the 1999 Vicosolo, by Vico Magistretti. The tip for the future was the stackable .03 chair designed by Maarten Van Severen and made by Vitra.

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