LDF keeps funding but audit highlights concerns

The London Development Agency will continue to fund the London Design Festival, but has raised concerns about the running of the event.

Following an audit by management consultancy Strategem, the LDA has promised to fund the LDF for a further three years. Performance targets will be set and funds delivered via a contractual rather than a grant basis, aligned with the objective of ‘marketing London as a place to do business’.

But while it praised the LDF for ‘raising the profile of design in London’, and for generating interest in design in the UK, the report is also critical of some aspects of its organisation.

Most glaring of these is the need for the LDF to ‘establish better working relationships and communications with stakeholders and partners’. The auditor also wants the LDA and the LDF to improve ‘the levels of communication’ between themselves. Another concern is the exemption from audit of London Design Festival Ltd’s accounts, which it states ‘is not the norm for organisations with high levels of public funding’.

According to the report, the LDF needs to encourage links between buyers and design consultancies, and to reach beyond London to the rest of the UK. Tie-ins with ethnic minority businesses and other creative industry events are also advocated.

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