Prince Andrew backs design sector

The UK design industry must ‘not rest on its laurels’ in the face of competition from emerging markets, according to HRH The Duke of York.

Speaking at a UK Trade & Investment event last week, Prince Andrew told guests from the creative industries and the world of motorsport that, ‘we need to raise the level of awareness about what our designers are doing, but at the moment we cannot seem to get that message out as loudly as we need to.’

The Duke of York has taken an active interest in design for the past seven years, presiding over the launch of Korean electronics firm LG’s London design studio last month (DW 3 July).

He revealed, ‘I have been to a number of design houses recently and discussed how UK design has a huge amount to do to ensure that we remain an inspirational country.’

Prince Andrew also thanked the creative industry ‘for the hard work it undertakes on a daily basis’, which has seen it  become as important to the UK economy as the finance sector.

‘We should not be afraid of being successful and making money, and we cannot lose inspirational people from this country,’ he said. ‘We must inspire young people to believe that what they turn their hands to they can succeed at.’

The UKTI Creative Industries and Motorsport Showcase took place in London last Thursday at St James’s Palace, SW1. It was a networking event that aimed to highlight links between Formula One racing and product branding, fashion, gaming and engineering design.

Car designer CGI Consulting and branding consultancy Corporate Edge, whose clients include Williams F1, exhibited at the event, which was hosted by Trade and Investment Minister Lord Jones.

Speakers included Formula One racing veteran Jackie Stewart and WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, who observed that live sport is becoming an increasingly important marketing channel for business.

‘Sport is a big industry and must retain its brand image to keep people investing in it,’ he said. Lord Jones told Design Week that ‘the biggest challenge design faces is from the developing world as it grows richer and creates more design studios. We have to stay one step ahead by getting kids on to apprenticeship scheme’s such as Martin Sorrell’s, because the future of British design is intheir hands.’

Speakers included:
Lord Jones, Trade and Investment Minister; Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive WPP; Jackie Stewart, racing champion; and HRH The Duke of York
Exhibitors included:
CGI Consulting, Corporate Edge, Benoy, Williams F1, Triumph Motorcycles and Sony Evolution

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