The Design Council CABE has announced vital financial support for the design review affiliated network across England

Design Council CABE announces backing for nation-wide network of design review panels

The support comes in the form of grants to the eight affiliated design review panels across England for 2011-12 to enable them to run local design review, alongside and closely aligned to CABE’s national design review service. The grants are imperative for the continuation of the panels, following the cessation of almost all government funding for the service in March 2011.

This marks the first ever funding programme to the affiliated network members. This grant will enable the delivery of 250 design reviews of schemes across England in the next year. Department of Communities and Local Government is providing the funding for the continuation of key CABE services including Local and National Design Review. Each of the affiliated panels will receive £65,000, which will cover a proportion of its running costs for the current financial year (to March 2011). Design Council CABE will continue to review nationally significant schemes.

The affiliated panels’ local knowledge will be of particular significance in the context of the localism agenda and the evolving planning system; they will be available to provide expert advice to local authorities, community groups and client and design teams so that they may achieve high quality design in developments. The panels will be expected to use planning and urban design experts to review neighbourhood plans as well as conduct a proportion of the reviews in the presence of local community.

Diane Haigh, Director of Design Council CABE, commented: “CABE and the vibrant network of affiliated panels share a commitment to ensuring high quality design in the built environment. We have always worked closely with the eight panels; this grant is an important milestone in reinforcing that network and will strengthen our collective design review offer to local authorities, community groups and clients.”

The network of panels has had a long standing relationship with CABE, which supported the set-up of many of the panels and since 2009, affiliated to its Design Review service. The grant will be divided equally between: Creating Excellence, Kent Architecture Centre, Shape East, OPUN, MADE, NE design review service, Integreat Plus and Places Matter.

Later this year, Design Council CABE will be awarding further small grants to support delivery of other local design support projects involving community engagement. It is envisaged that other organisations such as Architecture and Built Environment Centres (ABECs) and independent local panels will apply for these additional grants. These will be awarded on a case by case basis following an application process which will be opened in the summer.

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