New funding revives Design Trust’s fortunes

After years of financial uncertainty, The Design Trust is being restructured, having gained several important slices of additional funding.

The charity was set up in 1994 primarily to help British craft designers make the transition from college to professional life. It also organises the Design Resolutions show at the Royal Festival Hall.

Its trading subsidiary, New Designers in Business, is being relaunched as Design Nation, with branding by recently launched consultancy Brand Environment (see {storyLink (“DW199907230072″,”Ex-Wolff Olins staff start-up Be”)} ). Three commercial development positions have been created to grow the trust on three levels of paid membership.

Graduates can register on the central database for a nominal sum, or can choose to receive business support services for a £295 fee. A third tier at associate level is being introduced for established designers. Selections have, until now, been made internally.

Grants totalling almost £80 000, awarded by the European Social Funding and the Design Council, will help develop a life-long learning programme in conjunction with a number of universities. The organisation will also develop courses and its Networking Designers with Manufacturers project which targets furniture, textiles, ceramics and glass designers.

A further £30 000 in grants and £10 000 in awards is being made by Ergonom and the Worshipful Company of Clothmakers. The trust is hoping to raise £300 000 over the next two years, aiming to ultimately establish a centre of design excellence in London.

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