Recruitment campaign offers one-year £54k contract to the successful architect or urban designer


The Office for Place is part of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

The government’s Office for Place has launched a recruitment campaign to find a senior architect or urban designer to oversee the development of “tools and processes” to help councils and communities set their own design codes.

Under the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which is currently going through parliament, local authorities will be required to produce design codes for local areas that will have “full weight” in decisions on new housing and other types of development.

The Office for Place, which is part of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said the design-code lead would be tasked with producing elements of design codes and evidence-based “exemplar pattern books” that councils can download and adapt.

According to the Office for Place, the new design-code lead will also be responsible for producing best-practice guidance on elements of the design coding and wider placemaking processes for local authorities and the wider development sector.

> Also read: Will design codes help unlock the planning system?

> Also read: Interview: Nicholas Boys Smith on design, deregulation and the Office for Place

The Office for Place, which was launched in July 2021, said the successful applicant would have a minimum of five years’ post-qualification experience as a senior architect or urban designer, and have an understanding of masterplanning and placemaking.

The role, which comes with a salary described as “circa” £54,279, can be based in Manchester, Birmingham or Wolverhampton, with “some travel” to Stoke-on-Trent also expected.

The Office for Place said the role would be offered initially as a one-year fixed-term contract, but noted that there would be the “possibility of permanency”. Elsewhere, the advertisement suggested work on design codes was expected to grow as the arm’s-length body “expands over the next three years”.

The Office for Place is also recruiting for a research lead, with expertise in the built environment. According to the organisation: “The focus of the research will be on determining what people value and need, how to create beautiful, sustainable, popular and healthy places and its impact of the work of the Office for Place.”

The research lead carries the same salary and location requirements as the design-code lead. Both roles are open to applications until 11.55pm on 5 June.