An air of uncertainty looms over creative industries initiatives at the London Development Agency as it begins its restructuring of operations and cuts staff jobs. There is growing concern that funding and support for design projects of all sizes could be at risk if wholesale changes to its creative industries team are enforced.
Industry soundings suggest that future design sector efforts at the LDA could be increasingly focused through the LDA’s innovation design team led by Max Broadhurst, rather than through its creative industries team, which has hitherto backed initiatives such as the London Design Festival.
Any change of strategy would leave a question mark over the breadth of support given to diverse design initiatives that fall outside of urban design or the London 2012 Olympics legacy.
There is also uncertainty surrounding the future of the International Design Exchange, otherwise known as IDX. Plans to establish IDX as a national design hub have been in the pipeline for three years, following its recommendation in the Cox Review.
However, a spokesman for the LDA dismisses the concerns about its creative industries team and IDX as ‘unsubstantiated allegations’.
‘There are no proposals on the table about the organisation of individual teams,’ he says.‘Proposals for the future shape of the LDA are due to be made next month and then consulted upon’.
‘The IDX programme is part way through our approvals process. The next phase of the business case is being prepared and a decision – by our board to approve spending – is expected later in the year,’ he continues.