Opportunity knocks for designers who network

I read Emily Pacey’s article ‘A missed opportunity’ (News Analysis, DW 17 January) with interest. What has happened in Liverpool is very disappointing for the design industry, not only there but nationwide.

Hopefully, Liverpool will have lots of visitors over the next year, but it would seem they will not see much of the increasing role design is playing in the UK economy.

Both Simon Rhodes and Chris Mitchell complain that design is not well represented and blame it on the fact that local designers were badly informed. Perhaps designers in Liverpool have not developed a high enough profile in the local business community to be seen as consultees?

Last year I carried out a quick survey of local ‘self help’ design networking groups in the UK to begin the process of sharing best practice. I discovered more than a dozen, mostly in the South (with a few notable exceptions), but there seemed to be no such groups in the North West.

If other designers want to learn of the different models that have developed to enable regional design communities to gain more work locally through raising their profile, I’m happy to share this information.

Peter Spence, Director, South Coast Design Forum, Chichester PO19 8TX

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