Design Council announces new grant fund to promote the value of design

11 June 2010
London (United Kingdom) - The Design Council has announced new support to help designers get the message across to business about the benefits of design, drive up demand for design services and put design at the heart of economic growth. 
London (United Kingdom) - The Design Council has announced new support to help designers get the message across to business about the benefits of design, drive up demand for design services and put design at the heart of economic growth.

The support comes in the form of small grants to help improve the reach and impact of the existing initiatives around the country which promote the benefits of design, many of which are organised by the national bodies and regional design networks. By doing so, the Design Council grant will support the design organisations to work with their members to promote design, build skills and capability and create a 'drumbeat' for design nationwide.

Design organisations are being invited to apply for grants (of around GBP 1000 to 5,000) to help them improve the reach and impact of their existing activities which target design buyers and users. Starting on 1 July 2010, applications will be invited from national and regional not-for-profit organisations for grants, which will be awarded in September to support events and other initiatives in the current financial year. It is anticipated that up to GBP 100 000.00 will be distributed in total, with a maximum of GBP 10 000.00 to any one organisation.

Supplementing the Design Council's existing programmes such as Designing Demand - which put design at the heart of UK businesses through design mentoring - the grants aim to galvanise the collective talent and experience of the design industry to promote its value to sectors such as manufacturing.

David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council said, "We know that design has a vital role to play in translating ideas into brands, products, services and systems, and is at the heart of some of the world's most successful businesses. The challenge for the new government is to secure economic growth, and as Vince Cable has already made clear, that will come primarily from the private sector. We intend to do our best to help talented designers be at the forefront of promoting design as a key ingredient in securing that economic revival."

Applications for the Design Council grant can be made by any not-for-profit organisation, including those who are partners in the UK Design Alliance. An application form will be available on the Design Council website at the beginning of July and the closing date for submissions is 1 August 2010. Interested organisations are being invited to send the Design Council an expression of interest and seek advice and guidance from the Design Skills team at the Design Council at any stage in advance of submitting an application. 

Lesley Morris, Head of Design Skills at the Design Council said, "We're looking forward to receiving a wide variety of really creative ideas for communicating the value of design. Perhaps a regional design network is looking to stage a talk for a small invited audience and needs help to fund a webcast to businesses in their region. Maybe it's an organisation developing a new professional development programme for designers and design managers, which needs an extra module about 'convincing clients about the benefits of design, selling your services and winning more work'. There are lots of ways in which the grant can help promote design."

Applications for grants will be assessed by a panel of business leaders, designers including members of the UK Design Alliance and the Design Council. The criteria for the award are:
  • Applications must be for funding towards a project /event that the organisation is already undertaking or committed to and is itself contributing funding and/or resources to. The grant must be used specifically to increase impact – enhancing and extending the reach and effectiveness of the activity
  • The activity must be focused on communicating the value of design to design buyers and clients. It can also be about supporting designers to do this – enabling them to sell their design services more effectively
  • The applicant must have the ability to deliver  the proposal and evaluate the outcomes, having in place the experience and knowledge required
The grant will be payable between September 2010 and March 2011 and applications must be for activities that take place during this period.

For further information contact:

Nigel Campbell,
Head of Media Communications,
0207 420 5282 / 07825 442339

Saskia Sissons,
Media Relations Manager,
Design Council
0207 420 5248 / 07773 768073

About the Design Council

The Design Council places design at the heart of growth and renewal in Britain. As one of the world's leading design institutions, we are a centre of new thinking and insight into new ways to do business. We actively show how design can help build a stronger economy and improve everyday life through practical demonstrations and by supporting private industry and the public sector. In turn we invest in the future of UK design. For over 60 years the Design Council has promoted design for the public good. We are a government agency funded by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills as well as a charity with a Royal Charter. The Design Council is a Promotional Member of Icograda.