CSD praised at AGM for brokering bank deal

The Chartered Society of Designers’ executive was praised by members at the annual general meeting, for securing the bank deal which could massively cut its crippling debts.

The deal with NatWest – brokered during “long and difficult” negotiations, according to president elect Adrianne LeMan – could mean around 350 000 written off in seven years provided the CSD meets financial and management targets (DW 27 June).

According to honorary treasurer Bob Searles, targets include a continuation of steps taken to reduce overheads and increase efficiency, the completion of a marketing plan, the continuation of involvement of key members of the management team, and the repayment of the remaining

350 000 debt to the bank over the seven-year period. Searles reckons the repayment will probably be in quarterly instalments equal to around 1000 per week.

“If we deliver the right figures and consistently keep tight financial control, the bank will play ball,” said Searles. LeMan called the deal “a tremendous boost to the society – we are delighted”.

After the formalities of the AGM, LeMan unveiled the preliminary findings of a CSD strategy review. She called on the membership to “commit time and energy” to achieve the aims.

Key themes include attracting and retaining members through making the CSD “inclusive, not exclusive”, linking with the current Higher Education Funding Council review of design education, and finding a mechanism to accredit college courses.

Suggestions which are to be investigated include ceasing to run training and events, instead linking with educational institutions to provide courses at favourable rates to members. Last year the CSD lost around 20 000 on events and training.

LeMan says the strategy review findings “are a bit of a wish-list at the moment – we don’t want them to remain a wish-list”.

The question of succession of LeMan as president following last month’s resignation by Nick Jenkins will be resolved at the CSD council meeting later this month.

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