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Design Week’s 2002 salary survey has shown that pay rises for consultancy staff working outside London have been considerably higher than those awarded by design groups in the capital (DW 24 October). Why do you think this is?

‘It’s more effective and productive to keep good people with an above average salary increase than it is to try to replace them from a smaller (local) labour market. I see an increasing trend in designers learning new tricks at home. If one person can do the work of two/three ‘specialist’ freelances they’re worth the extra. The rise in house prices may also be a factor – a talented employee looking to put down roots and stick with you will be eager to see their value appreciated.’

Chris Ellis, Director, Brandragon, St Ives,

Cambridgeshire

‘London staff are already well paid compared to their regional counterparts, and have traditionally worked on bigger design accounts that could support the pay structure. Also, many big design buyers are looking outside London for improved value for money. Less work in London and more responsibility on regional designers creates a need for more remuneration.’

Richard Bissland, Joint managing director, 999 Design,

Glasgow

‘The economic downturn hit first/harder in London, with a lot of lay-offs and many people chasing the same jobs. When groups have a good choice of people available it drives salaries down. It can be harder to attract good people outside London, so when you get them, you work harder to keep them. I believe losing people down to pay is a stupid reason to lose them.’

Lin Arigho, Managing director, Aricot Vert, Fleet,

Hampshire

‘Business costs in London are higher than elsewhere. Combine this with recent economic events and relatively higher overheads, and London groups will feel the pinch more. And so less money for pay rises.’

Jim Orkney, Managing director, Kinneir Dufort, Bristol

‘Staff outside London produce equally creative, commercially effective work, which clients appreciate the value of. With lower operating costs, consultancies have potentially greater flexibility to reward “star” staff with salary increases. Regional groups need to attract experienced staff on “London” packages. Overall, it’s a necessary adjustment to level the playing field.’

Andrew Eyles, Group managing director, Blue Marlin,

Bath

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