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I would like to see the Design Council recognise that there are designers who are still asking, ‘What is the Design Council for?’ The benefits of its strategic activities are not evident to designers on the South Coast. I also believe the Design Council should engage with the growing number of regional design networks. Established membership bodies are still predominantly London-centric; this, together with the fees charged, effectively excludes small businesses, and consequently the design debate is impoverished.

Peter Spence, Forum director, South Coast Design Forum

The Design Council desperately needs a more specific and well-defined role. In my view, the biggest challenge facing the UK design industry is its lack of cohesive representation to industry. As a result, design punches below its weight in terms of how business leaders perceive its contribution to the bottom line. Sir Michael Bichard is a man with a reputation for getting things done, and I hope he will put these issues at the top of his to-do list. I wish him lots of luck.
Greg Orme, Chief executive, Centre for Creative Business

Having worked with Sir Michael Bichard at the University of the Arts London, I know he has plenty to contribute on the issues of creative education and how students are prepared for life in the world of design. Knowing his way around the public sector, he will want to make sure Government remains committed to design and delivers practical support, not just good intentions. Another key issue is how British design squares up to the challenge of operating in a more international context. These seem like good priorities to me.
Jim Northover, Chairman, Lloyd Northover

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