Design Leicestershire bids to lift local creative sector

Design Leicestershire, an initiative to bolster the creative industries across the Leicestershire region, is seeking to secure £250 000 from the East Midlands Development Agency to invest in the region’s design industry over the next three years.

EMDA, one of the nine UK regional development agencies, is reviewing the project’s proposal and is expected to reach a decision on the funding later this month.

The Design Leicestershire initiative aims to boost the burgeoning design industry across the region. The scheme will focus on developing industry skills, international business links and encourage the roll-out of more collaborative-led projects, such as mentoring schemes, among small- to medium-sized design businesses.

A steering group has been set up to run the project, with Chris Ward-Brown, EMDA innovation manager, at the helm. The project, backed by 30 consultancies in Leicestershire, is thought to be the first initiative of its kind in the area.

‘We want to improve the roots for design businesses, to help them trade more effectively. This is about growing design capacity and capability. We are hopeful that the proposal will be met with approval,’ says Ward-Brown.

The East Midlands region includes the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland. The EMDA was set up in 1999.

Other regional design schemes to stimulate and develop local creative industries include the Cornwall Design Forum for designers in the West Country (DW 4 November 2004).

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