Regional design support needs to find new models

Last month, the Design Council brought together representatives of regional design groups and national bodies to ‘shape the future’ of design support organisations. Three key themes emerged. There was agreement that all the bodies should work together, and the first task was to set out exactly what ‘collaboration’ means. This is needs to be done quickly to maintain the momentum of the meeting.

The prospect of less funding in future is high on the agenda. At South Coast Design Forum, we are working out how we can generate revenue from our assets – website, e-newsletter, the talent in our membership and our high-profile directors. We must develop models like the national bodies, and look to the Design Council for help.

Finally, to judge by those at the meeting, designers in the North have handed the initiative for development of the design sector to regional development agencies, but I’d love to be told I am wrong.

Peter Spence, Director, South Coast Design Forum, Chichester PO19 6BA

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