Friday, 26 June 2009

North-South Divide

North-South Divide map/Wikipedia

The recession is starting to have quite a cultural impact on the architectural profession. My view has always been that in architecture there has been a London market and a regional market. Much of what has been delivered in the capital has been commercial responding to the asset boom driven by the banks. This has included offices, hotels and high end housing.

The majority of the construction industry is now driven by Government spending and investment in education and healthcare. This has encouraged many of the businesses in London to look further afield for opportunities.

The concentration of skills in London will help to increase the quality of public buildings being procured across England.

With regards to the upgrading of the of the schools estate, Partnerships for Schools are now very reliant on CABE as the custodian of design quality. Over the last few years the BSF process has been driven by delivery and the procurement itself. CABE’s involvement will undoubtedly raise standards and encourage bid teams to respond to the need for design quality.

This shift will give the opportunity to promote the benefit of the investment in design as part of the huge capital investment being made by the Government. As a northern business we must ensure we are part of the dialogue with bodies such as CABE and the RIBA which are traditionally based in the south.

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