Organisers of Different by Design, the pioneering £2.7m design development project in Staffordshire, are hoping to extend its funding beyond the official close next month.
The programme’s director Bruce Wood (pictured) is in discussions with its funder, Regional Development Agency Advantage West Midlands, about extending the scheme beyond 31 March when it is due to end. He claims that its success in developing and launching commercially viable designs over the past three years stands DbyD in good stead with AWM.
‘DbyD is not defunct and doesn’t officially come to an end until the end of next month, but we hope to be able to continue beyond that. AWM is positively inclined to do something,’ says Wood.
It is hoped that a decision on its future can be reached early enough to prevent a break in ongoing operations.
All 54 products developed through DbyD are drawn together at an event entitled Reality, which is running throughout this week at Trentham Gardens in Stoke- on-Trent. It shows how designers and manufacturers have created marketable products through the scheme, including a portable football dug-out, composite domestic furniture and a lighting range for Portmeirion.
Wood says that DbyD will produce a book documenting all of the scheme’s designs and innovations.
The third in a series of evaluation reports by independent consulting firm Ecotec is also due out before the end of March.