Design is set to have a stronger official presence in the north west of England, following the expansion of the Liverpool Design Initiative to include an area of central Manchester.
LDI has changed its name to Liverpool and Manchester Design Initiative, with an identity designed by Liverpool consultancy Union North. It will have offices in both cities.
The organisation has secured £500 000 funding, largely from the North West Arts Board and, through Manchester City Pride, the European Regional Development Fund, for the venture.
It has arranged to meet Manchester graphic and website designers next week with a view to putting their details on its website (www.designbank.org.uk) and canvassing their views. “We will compile a design programme in response to the needs of the constituency,” says LMDI director Frances Downie.
Other initiatives include a joint submission for the two cities to the 100% Design show in October and “we’re considering doing a joint Liverpool and Manchester design awards”, says Downie, who aims to elevate design in the region to national awareness.
The LDI was set up in 1992 by Downie with funding from Liverpool City Council and North West Arts Board. It has since attracted European funds and other sponsorship.
The LDI’s initiatives include fostering start-up design companies, running the respected Liverpool Design Awards scheme, which this year includes a design effectiveness category, and putting clients and designers in touch with each other.