The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment is set to receive twice as much funding next year.
The money for the government's design watchdog will rise to £4m for the year 2002/3, compared with £1.9m for 2001/2.

The rise is largely the result of extra funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and a grant from the new Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions.

The extra money will allow CABE to double its workforce from 14 to 28, according to its corporate strategy document. But the document did add that despite the budget increase, the funding was inadequate for the task the government had asked CABE to undertake.

Speaking at the launch of the strategy this week, Jon Rouse, chief executive of the commission, praised its performance since its inception in 1999.

Rouse said: "These are exciting times for CABE. We have been around for 18 months and we are starting to see the fruits of our labours." In the strategy document, CABE said its priorities would include promoting better design in PFI schemes and housing. The document said the commission was working on a report with the Treasury on the design of PFI projects that will be completed later this year.

These are exciting times for CABE. We are starting to see the fruits of our labours

Jon Rouse, chief executive, CABE

CABE's work in housing will include a joint guide on PPG3, co-authored with the DTLR. This will include examples of good practice.

The report said that CABE would identify examples of good housing design with the House Builders Federation, and would work with the Housing Corporation to improve social housing design.

CABE said it was also conducting some research with property agent FPD Savills to assess the value of good-quality design.