RSA branches out with regional centres plan

The Royal Society for the Arts opens its first regional centre tomorrow in Halifax. If successful, it will lead to five similar ventures in a bid to raise the RSA’s profile in the north of England.

Called The RSA at Dean Clough, the centre will use space and facilities at arts, design and education centre Dean Clough.

It will work closely with Dean Clough’s Design Dimension Educational Trust – a charity aiming to promote awareness of design in small businesses and schools – and a full-time officer will be employed.

The next RSA student design awards will be launched in May at Dean Clough instead of the usual Design Museum venue in London, and local designers will be appointed to create a set of 15 panels highlighting the work of the Royal Designers for Industry.

“This will probably be the first of five regional centres,” says Roger Standen, director of the trust. “The idea is that the RSA should spread its word better and develop regional programmes such as conferences and seminars to bring business people and designers into contact”.

But Graham Simmonds, RSA fellowship and marketing director, is circumspect. “We need to raise local funding. We could envisage future centres depending on this one’s success. It’s a likely strategy but not definite.”

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