Milton Keynes forum holds first meeting

The newly formed Milton Keynes Design Forum will have its first meeting tomorrow, which its founder says will set the agenda for the group.

The forum, which currently has more than 40 members, was established around a month ago by James Beston, director at Milton Keynes-based Very Red Design.

Beston says he founded the group as he wanted to join a forum, but found that none covered his area. He says, ’I was reading about design networks on the Design Council website, and went on the map of the networks to click on the Milton Keynes forum, but there wasn’t one.’

Beston says he wants to use the South Coast Design Forum as a model for the Milton Keynes forum’s development, and has used SCDF director Peter Spence as ’a sounding board’.

He says he is also keen to develop links with higher education, in particular the Open University, which is based in Milton Keynes. Beston says, ’I have always supported higher education and the idea of promoting good design.’

Beston says the majority of the forum’s current members are digital consultancies, with film and TV consultancies also represented. He says one of his aims is for the forum to conduct an anonymous survey of the makeup of the design sector in the area.

He says he also plans to apply to the £100 000 fund the Design Council has made available to not-for-profit organisations to help them promote the value of design to business.

The grants, which will be for around £1000-£5000 each, will be made available to regional and national organisations to help support and extend existing initiatives.

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