The Department of Trade and Industry expects to continue the Business Links voucher incentive scheme it set up in April 1995 beyond its year-long pilot.
The voucher scheme, which was set up to encourage businesses to use design and related activities for the first time as part of their growth plans, offers pound for pound funding to companies who go to Business Links for design advice. The scheme has a current limit of 250, which the DTI will pay to first-time design users.
“We’re still assessing take-up and impact of the scheme, and it is yet to be decided whether the 250 limit will alter,” says a DTI Business Links spokesman. “But the scheme seems to have been successful.”
Vouchers are held by the 22 design counsellors currently in place and are issued after a company has been assessed by Business Link personal business advisors. Companies will be recompensed if they use one of the consultancies recommended by Business Links, and if they can prove to the personal business advisor that any design work carried out promotes the strategic growth of the business.