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CABE to ‘refocus with fewer resources’

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The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will consider how CABE could ‘consolidate its functions’ in a review of public bodies launched last Monday (26 July)

However, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt – who unveiled a wide-ranging shake-up of arm’s-length bodies, including the merger of UK Sport and Sport England – did not suggest the commission could be combined with English Heritage, as has been rumoured.

The announcement comes days after CABE’s co-sponsor, Communities and Local Government (CLG), confirmed it will cut the commission’s budget by 20 per cent, less than the rumoured 25 per cent – a loss
of nearly £1.4 million.

The cut, which is in addition to a three per cent funding drop announced by DCMS back in May, will impact heavily on design review and the support CABE gives to architecture and built environment centres.

A spokesperson confirmed the commission will trim the number of design reviews held in the next 12 months by 50, down from the 324 reviewed in 2009/2010.

CABE chair Paul Finch said: ‘The task for CABE, as for all arm’s-length bodies, is to refocus its programme with fewer resources.

‘In the context of what has happened and is happening to architecture practices, as well as to the public sector generally, this is something we are now doing without a lot of public belly-aching,’ he added. 

What the cuts mean for CABE

  • Fifty fewer design reviews will be held this yea
  • Staff face a complete pay freeze
  • Grant funding for architecture and built environment centres will be reduced this yea
  • Fewer public space projects will be enabled
  • Training and strategic advice given to local authorities will be cut significantly
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