Government says design is ‘integral’ to growth plans

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts says design is ‘an integral part of the Government’s plans for innovation and growth’, adding that it will form a ‘prominent feature’ in the upcoming research and innovation strategy.

Willetts is to make the pledge at today’s Design for Growth summit, co-hosted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Design Council, which will examine design’s role in stimulating growth in the economy.

Willetts says, ‘Good design can help businesses to thrive and improve public services and with more than 230 000 people employed in our design industry it makes a significant contribution to our economic wealth with £15bn spent on UK design in 2009.’

He adds, ‘The UK has a world-class design sector and we need to maintain our role as a global leader, which is why we have continued to support the Design Council by investing £4m [over the next year].’

The Design Council has also announced that its Designing Demand design mentoring programme is to be refocused on manufacturing businesses, particularly those with advanced manufacturing capability.

The future of Designing Demand had looked to be in doubt after the Government announced that the regional development agencies that previously delivered the scheme were to be axed – but in March the Government announced it would continue to provide financial support for Designing Demand, which will be delivered through local enterprise partnerships, which replace the RDAs.

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