In June 2006 the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) published a new policy on Architecture and the Built Environment for Northern Ireland (A+BE). The policy incorporates an ambitious action plan endorsed by government departments. The aim is to ensure best value from public expenditure whilst targeting capital investment towards enhancing the visual landscape and improving the quality of life now and for future generations.
The Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG) for Architecture and the Built Environment has a primary role is to advise the Minister responsible for DCAL on the implementation and development of the A+BE policy. Collectively they bring to MAG a range of expertise in architecture, architectural conservation, landscape architecture, procurement, sustainable development and town planning.
A Call-off List of expert advisors was recruited in 2009 to support the MAG in the key area of design review and on an ad-hoc basis to assist in other areas where the MAG requires additional specialist expertise. Expert advisors are not members of MAG.
The MAG is developing guidance on Creative Consultation for the Strategic Investment Board. An on-line toolkit will provide NICS departments and agencies with the methodologies and support to develop and implement more creative and innovative approaches to community engagement and consultation. Going beyond the minimum requirements of consultation brings many benefits. Not only does it greatly reduce risks associated with project delivery it also contributes to the sustained success of its outcome.