Glasgow companies are taking on designers with the cost of their salaries paid for by the Glasgow Development Association.
For one, textile designer and producer Timorous Beasties, the deal means the company will put together a collection of its designs for the first time in its seven-year history. For another, a family-owned furniture company called Jack Sakol, the grant means it can build its first in-house design department. A third project will see a textile printing workshop throw open its doors.
The GDA scheme follows a similar project centred on technology which boasted a 97 per cent success rate in turning funded posts into permanent non-assisted jobs. If this year’s pilot design scheme is successful, it will be repeated and broadened, says GDA design promoter Adrian Searle.
He says: “The purpose of this is to help companies absorb the risk involved in taking on a designer. Particularly for established manufacturers, the fact that the impact of that investment may not be felt for a couple of years can be prohibitive.”
Timorous Beasties has carved out a respected niche with its bespoke textiles and wallpapers. But the rapid turnaround in projects has meant the company has never managed to put the time and effort into creating a collection, the production of which can be sub-contracted, says Timorous Beasties’ Alistair McAuley.
Now freelance designer Paul Simmons is being taken on full-time to design and collate the collection, which will be launched later in the year. McAuley says: “We have been trying to get backing for this for years.”