Labour documents a design commitment

Letters to the Editor should be sent to Design Week, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX. Fax: 0171-734 1770. e-mail

I read your editorial Good week had by all…but what’s next? (DW 1 November) with interest, but was rather dismayed by your claim that design is not treated as a serious issue on the political agenda.

The Labour Party firmly believes that an industrial strategy designed to improve Britain’s competitiveness must put design, innovation, science and technology back at the centre of Government policy.

Our support for design and the work of the Design Council was spelt out in our recently published industrial policy document Vision for Growth – a new industrial strategy for Britain. It says: “Design is the key element of international competitiveness. We need a greater awareness within UK firms of the need to produce well-designed innovative products so that we can import less and export more. Good design is crucial at every stage of production. Labour will work to increase awareness of the need for more investment in design and development of products. We will encourage the work of the Design Council in promoting the dissemination of best practice in the private sector, thereby increasing the awareness of manager of the importance of a carefully structured programme of research, design and development.”

I agree that we should build on the success of Design in Business Week and hope that it will grow into a major national event promoting the effective use of design throughout the economy. Margaret Beckett, Shadow President of the Board of Trade, Barbara Roche, Shadow Small Business Minister and I were delighted to demonstrate our full support for Design in Business Week by attending an event at the Design Council on the Tuesday evening.

So, while I do understand any doubts you may have about the level of Government commitment to the design industry in general and Design in Business Week in particular, I can assure readers that Labour does indeed place design high on the agenda.

Adam Ingram

Shadow Minister for Innovation, Design, Science and Technology

House of Commons

London SW1

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