John Lewis kick starts Halifax Initiative funding

Commercial funding for the Halifax Initiative has kicked off with a 5000 donation from retailer John Lewis Partnership.

In a letter to outgoing Design Business Association chairman Jonathan Sands, JLP chairman Stuart Hampson says the money is “to kick start the necessary fund-raising” for the formation of a professional body “which will reflect not only the views of independent design practices, but also those of the many in-house designers whose work is so influential”. Hampson has agreed to review the funding situation again next year.

Further funding is expected from the Design Council, which has already stumped up 25 000 of the 35 000 used to fund change management consultant Kinsley Lord’s involvement and the costs of the conference. Design Council chief executive Andrew Summers has pledged continued support.

Meanwhile, a group set up by Fitch’s Bill Sermon, to clarify the “vision” for design representation which came out of Halifax, is due to report its findings to the review team within the next few days. Central to that vision is the creation of a single voice for design, through an umbrella body straddling existing organisations or through a new unified body. Newell and Sorrell director John Simmons has agreed to “craft” the vision statement.

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