A&DS welcomes Parliamentary Debate on architecture

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Architecture and Design Scotland today welcomed the call for a reduced VAT rate for building repair, refurbishment and maintenance that will be called for in a debate on the importance of architecture and placemaking for the economic development of Scotland at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday November 10th.

The call was made by Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop in advance of the debate and proposes that the VAT rate (for building repair, refurbishment and maintenance) would be reduced from 20% to 5% as a stimulus to the building industry and ensuring more efficient use of our resources.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Karen Anderson, Chair of Architecture and Design Scotland said “This debate brings welcome attention to the growing importance of effective investment in our places – places we live, learn and work in.”

The proposal to reduce the VAT rate to encourage refurbishment, repair and maintenance would go a long way to support the retention of buildings that contribute to a ‘sense of place’ in Scottish towns and villages. It will help establish a culture that better values our built environment in Scotland and prioritises the building of new buildings that will last into the future . We cannot afford to continue to crush and landfill buildings that have passed their perceived use-by date and build ones with limited life-spans.

She continued

By supporting place based investment and planning we can not only make Scotland’s places more functional and attractive, but we can tackle some of the big issues around transport, carbon emissions, employment, health and ensure long term sustainability.

Architecture and Design Scotland said it hoped that the debate would highlight how good design can create places that work effectively now and in the future.

Karen Anderson concluded “Well-planned places, incorporating the best new development alongside existing buildings, support our communities and present a strong image of Scotland to visitors and investors worldwide. They create the conditions to deliver long-term economic and social benefits for Scotland’s people.”

An article by Karen Anderson was published in the Scotsman on 10/11/11 – read the article here.

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