British design “worth £72bn a year to the economy”

New research from the Design Council also shows that 5% of the total UK workforce is employed in design.


One pound coin on fluctuating graph. Rate of the pound sterling

Design contributed £72 billion to the UK economy in 2013, according to new research from the Design Council.

Previous figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport showed that design contributed £3.1 billion to the UK economy in 2014. However, these figures only looked at the direct contribution from graphic, product and fashion design.

For this new research, the Design Council has worked with research consultancy TBR to measure design’s impact on the economy.

New definition of design

The Design Council says it is using a “new” definition of design includes design in the built environment, crafts, IT and engineering.

The research looks at a set of key measures, including gross value added, productivity, turnover, employment and exports of goods and services.

As well as showing design’s overall economic impact, the research also reveals that 5% of the entire UK workforce is employed in design activities and that design is creating jobs at three times the national average.

“UK renowned for design”

The initial research findings have been unveiled at the GREAT Global Investment Conference in London. The results will be published in full next month.

Trade and Investment Minster Lord Maude says: “The UK is world-renowned for its design and creativity in a variety of sectors – from fashion to automotive.

“Through this event we’re demonstrating that the UK is very much open for business and seeking to build on the record foreign direct investment results we secured last financial year.”

Discover more:

• Design’s value to UK economy soars

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