NWDA finds £1.8m to keep Places Matter going

Places Matter, the publicly funded architecture and built environment think-tank for the North West has secured a further £1.8m of funding from the North West Development Agency, securing its programme of activities to 2012.

The Places Matter programme evolved out of the now defunct Renew centre, based in Liverpool and Manchester, which wound up earlier this year.

NWDA said Places Matter has successfully established the Northwest Design Review Panel, reviewing over 100 schemes drawn from 75% of the region's local authorities representing in excess of £1bn of investment in England's Northwest. The body has also "published major research into the economic value of urban design", arguing that an increase of up to 20% in rental and capital value can be added through good design.

Places Matter delivered a series of Building in Context seminars with CABE and English Heritage in Blackpool, Blackburn, Wigan, Chester and Ambleside for local authority members and officers.

The group has also delivered a Places Matter Education programme, collaborating with 226 teachers, 151 artists and 113 professionals, delivering built environment lessons and producing ten public exhibitions and five training films.

Much of the Places Matter! programme is delivered with and through partner organisations including RIBA North West and CABE.

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