Government applauds Design Council work

I welcomed Lynda Relph-Knight’s comments last week on making 1997 Design in Business Year. However, I must take issue with some of her comments about Design in Business Week 1996 and her doubts about the level of political support for design and the Design Council.

By bringing together design organisers – Design Business Association, Chartered Society of Designers, Design Museum – and the business community – NatWest, the Confederation of British Industry, BT, British Airways, Business Links – the council has raised the profile and understanding of design.

Twice during Design in Business Week, Government ministers spoke about the Government’s belief that design is fundamental to the UK winning world markets. Lynda Relph-Knight was present at the recent Government reception, hosted by the President of the Board of Trade, when she would have heard him give the Government’s commitment and support to design.

I also draw her attention to a parliamentary motion, supported by 72 backbench MPs from all parties. It states that “this house congratulates the Design Council on organising the first Design in Business Week… believes that the effective use of design by businesses is crucial to improving competitiveness of the UK; wishes the organisers and supporters of the 30 different events taking place this week every success; and hopes that this event may grow into an annual opportunity of highlighting the importance of design to commercial success.”

The Government and the House of Commons have made their position clear. I hope Design Week will be as unequivocal in supporting the work of the Design Council.

Sir Michael Marshall MP

House of Commons

See Comment opposite – Ed

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