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26/05/2016

Government contributes to future planners scheme fund

Words: Laura Edgar
Studying / iStock_000039456960

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has contributed £36,000 to the RTPI student bursary fund the institute set up last year.

The fund aims to help tackle the shortage of planners, allowing students from any discipline – including law, politics and geography – who decide to choose planning as a career to apply for a £1,000 award if they are on an accredited university master’s course.

Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis said: “Planning plays a vital role in shaping our environment, from protecting our architectural heritage and the countryside to providing great design for new buildings. This is why we need to keep encouraging the best talent into the planning profession.

“The RTPI bursary scheme, backed by government funding, will continue drawing top graduates to further studies into planning with a view to then joining the profession.”

RTPI chief executive Trudi Elliott said the bursary initiative has been a “fantastic success” with students and a “true partnership” between the RTPI, universities, and the public and private sectors.

“We are delighted to have the support of the government and additional financial backing which will enable us to build on the achievements of the fund in its first year.”

For the academic year 2015-2016, 44 masters students from 23 universities in the UK and Ireland were each awarded £1,000.

This year, the institute said, 20 RTPI-accredited planning schools have already committed to supporting the initiative in 2016-17. The new bursaries will be available to eligible masters students starting their courses in September.

The RTPI has plans to expand the scheme to help encourage more planners into the profession and are currently looking for new sponsors.

Mark Sitch, senior partner at Barton Willmore, one of the scheme sponsors, said: “The future and continued effectiveness of our planning profession is the responsibility of all of us operating within it. We are passionate about what good and considered town planning can achieve for those involved in the public and private sector, and we are therefore once again delighted to contribute to the promotion of this initiative”.

Image credit | iStock

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