Creating Excellence and The Architecture Centre have joined forces as Design West to champion design and placemaking across the South West of England, bringing the public, politicians and professionals together to shape better places.
Design West will help to create a better built environment, championing good design, community engagement and the sharing of best practice, so continuing the legacy of the two merging organisations. Design West will operate as a charity providing design support to local authorities, communities and developers throughout the South West including BANES, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire.
Dominic Murphy, Chair of Creating Excellence, who joins the board of Design West says;
“Creating Excellence and our design review panel, Design South West, have built up a strong reputation throughout the South West of England for helping create the very best new places. By merging our two organisations to create Design West, we expand our reach and expertise and maximise our synergies.”
Dr Anna Rutherford will lead the new organisation as its director, after a landmark three years at the head of The Architecture Centre. She explains;
“In 2021, our 25th Anniversary year, we become Design West, the largest organisation in the South West for design and placemaking. We have recently strengthened our board of trustees and our team to make us ready for future growth. Now is such an exciting time across the South West in shaping communities for the future and we want to bring together the best talent and voices from every community to build better places.”
Creating Excellence Director Julie Tanner becomes Design and Planning Manager South West for the newly created organisation.
The organisation will provide its Design Review service to the whole of the South West of England with regional bases in South Devon and Bristol, and is already developing the first Placemaking Charter for the West of England. Design West will also run a Housing Excellence Design Panel, designed to contribute to the Building for a Healthy Life agenda, advising local authorities and developers and supporting communities to develop neighbourhood plans, while continuing to engage with the Design Network on national initiatives.
Design West will put social value at its heart, home to regular talks, workshops and events, bringing together professionals working across the built environment with politicians, policy-makers and the wider public interested in design and placemaking.