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Architects wanted for placemaking projects in five local authorities

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The RIBA has launched an open call for architects to work on initiatives to improve design quality in five local authorities 

The selected architects will work with local councils Bradford, Greater Exeter, Great Yarmouth, Gateshead, and North Northamptonshire, all of which are part of the 2019 Future Place programme.

The placemaking initiative is run by the RIBA, the Chartered Institute of Housing, the Local Government Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute and will also include expertise from Homes England.

Training and specialist advice will be offered to the councils involved, which were chosen for their willingness to work with different bodies to deliver meaningful change. They will be given access to Homes England frameworks.

RIBA president Ben Derbyshire said: ‘This is an opportunity for talented architects to support their local authority planning teams at a strategic level, helping them to explore a really interesting mix of design challenges. Each of the five places were selected because of their vision and determination to deliver meaningful change, and winners of this first phase can demonstrate the added value an architect can bring to placemaking.’

The RIBA is inviting Chartered Architects and Practices to submit expressions of interest by 27 June 2019. More information on the open call process can be found here.

Local authorities taking part in the programme and their plans

  • City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council aims to create new homes and jobs to attract young diverse communities. Next steps include producing a masterplan for a ‘city village’, along with a housing design guide to set out what is expected from new developments.
  • Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council, Mid Devon District Council and Teignbridge District Council, supported by Devon County Council want Exeter to be recognised as one of the most active, healthy and accessible cities in England by 2040. They intend to publish a draft strategic plan for the sub-region in the next year and launch a plan to deliver 12,000 homes over the next two decades. 
  • Great Yarmouth Borough Council is working on a town-centre masterplan as well as seafront regeneration projects, while crafting a culture and tourism strategy and lobbying for a bespoke housing deal.
  • Gateshead Council is committed to creating a lively, connected town centre that promotes health, wellbeing, social interaction and a better quality of life. It aims to establish a future Gateshead leadership board made up of local stakeholders.
  • Northamptonshire County Council, Corby Borough Council, East Northamptonshire Council, Kettering Borough Council and Borough Council of Wellingborough aim to ensure quality design while the sub-region moves towards a 25 per cent population increase. Work planned for the next year includes creating a place-shaping website and a supplementary planning document to assist developers, as well as progressing plans for a new garden village.


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