BD – back to the position pre 1997.
Architecture will move from culture department to communities after election
Government oversight of architecture is to move from the ministry of culture to the far more powerful communities department, BD has learnt.
The switch, which will place architecture alongside the crucial planning and housing portfolios, is one of the most significant outcomes of the Farrell Review process begun by culture minister Ed Vaizey two years ago.
The decision is expected to be announced next week and implemented after the general election, BD understands.
“This is a really significant change. It moves architecture from the relative backwater of design and the creative industries to a department with real clout,” said a source close to the decision.
“It’s essential that design leads planning, yet that’s been impossible while the two functions have been split across departments. In the past architecture has always been one interest among many in a junior minister’s portfolio.”
Vaizey, who has been the architecture minister most highly rated by the profession in years, is believed to have been closely involved in the decision. He has spoken in the past about his desire to make his colleagues across government more design literate.