Architectural watchdog CABE is to draw up a report recommending ways of persuading PFI clients to become more involved in the design process, primarily by encouraging them to enter the prime minister’s Better Public Buildings award.
The report is a response to concerns raised last week in a meeting of government design champions, led by planning minister Lord Falconer. Ministers are concerned that there has not been enough focus on client input in PFI design. A CABE spokesperson said: “We will be working with architectural design champions to see how we can target PFI clients better and encourage them to offer more input into the design process.”

The report will be presented at the next meeting of the design champions in the spring. It will specifically look at ways of targeting clients – ranging from individual school head teachers to hospital trusts – for involvement in the second annual Better Public Buildings competition.

The first award was won last year by the Tate Modern, formerly London’s Bankside power station. CABE is hoping to see more entries celebrating school and hospital design this year.

Applications to enter the award are invited from the end of next month.

CABE is also hoping to hold a conference on primary healthcare design in May. The government aims to build or refurbish 5000 surgeries by 2004.