Design Council in exploratory partnership talks with Cabe

The Design Council and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment have been in ’exploratory’ discussions about a potential partnership between the two organisations.

The Design Council is currently recalibrating in advance of becoming an independent charity and is due to lose its status as a publicly funded body. Martin Temple’s review of the organisation earlier this year suggested it should co-locate and share some services with the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

A spokesman for the Design Council says that since the review was presented the organisation has been talking to several other bodies about tie-ups. He says, ’In line with the Temple Review we are taking a broad-church approach and this is in line with that spirit. With Cabe, as with all the organisations, the talks are exploratory at this stage.’

While playing down any particular significance in the discussions with Cabe, Design Council chief executive David Kester describes the ongoing talks as ’good’, pointing up a raft of ’parallel programmes’ undertaken by the two bodies.

The Design Council is holding a council meeting tomorrow, at which it is hoped terms for the structure of the organisation going forward can be established. The organisation is awaiting the outcome of the Public Bodies Bill, which recommends that the Design Council be stripped of its status as a non-departmental Government body. The bill is set to go to committee stage at the House of Lords on 14 December.

As part of the Comprehensive Spending Review in October, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport decided to withdraw funding from Cabe. This means the body, which conducts design reviews of architectural projects as well as acting as an adviser to Government on architecture, will be unable to continue in its present form.

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