Cabe signs off on bid to merge with Design Council
Housing minister Grant Shapps has to decide whether to kill off Cabe or allow it to join forces with the Design Council after the boards of both bodies signed off a merger proposal.
Following the withdrawal of funding from Cabe’s main sponsor department, the DCMS in October, the design watchdog was due to be wound up in March.
However, it has since been having high level conversations with its other sponsor CLG about continuing with some of its core functions including design review and enabling under the so-called ‘Project Phoenix’ effort.
It has emerged that Cabe commissioners unanimously backed the idea of merging with the nearby Design Council last Thursday, a move which was echoed by the board of Council’s board.
A Design Council spokesman said the planned tie-up would “provide a one stop shop for design, covering products, services, buildings and places”.
He added: “The trustees of the Design Council and the Cabe commissioners are unanimous in their support for the idea of our two organisations joining forces in order to strengthen the idea of design in all its forms at the heart of social and economic growth. This is now a matter for decision by ministers.”
If it gets the green light from Shapps, CLG will provide around £3.5 million in funding to Cabe. Up to 30 Cabe staff could move across to the enlarged group’s offices. However, if Shapps decides against the plan, then the architecture watchdog will be wound up as planned in the spring.
The Design Council receives £4 million in funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which will continue when it becomes a registered charity around the same time.