English Heritage seeks groups for design roster

Government body English Heritage is putting together its first design roster as part of a push to formalise its design procurement operation.

The line-up is likely to include around 15 consultancies spanning a wide range of design disciplines. Those on the roster will work alongside the client’s four-strong in-house team.

English Heritage has advertised in the European Journal for design groups to cover a range of projects to evolve print, packaging, corporate identity and strategy.

The selection process is yet to be finalised. Interested parties can attend an open day on 15 May to examine the client’s recent design portfolio. The application deadline is 22 May, with pitches planned for mid-to-late June.

“We will probably see two to three times the number of consultancies or individuals we need, but it depends on the quality of the applicants. There may be more than one round of pitches although creative work is unlikely to be required,” says English Heritage design director Peta Morey.

Morey is looking for a mix of bigger and smaller consultancies. “We want to take on a stable of designers to give our offering greater consistency, and are keen to establish a team for the long term. Initially, the groups will be offered one year contracts, but we hope to lengthen that to three,” she says. The body is planning a sustained evolution of its design elements rather than major overnight changes, Morey adds.

English Heritage is 80 per cent funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is working with the Design Council to create a blueprint for best design use and procurement practice (DW 3 April). Morey says the two initiatives are unconnected.

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