Government pledges commitment to design at landmark summit

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Today sees a high-level summit meeting of global business leaders, leading designers and Government, to discuss how design can contribute to economic growth in the UK.

The Government is to put design at the heart of its plans for economic growth in the UK. The commitment will be made by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts at Design for Growth, a high-level summit meeting of global business leaders, leading designers and Government, which is being co-hosted today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Design Council.

David Willetts said:

“Design forms an integral part of the Government’s plans for innovation and growth and it will be a prominent feature in our upcoming Research and Innovation strategy.

“Good design can help business to thrive and improve public services and with over 230,000 people employed in our design industry it makes a significant contribution to our economic wealth with £15 billion spent on UK design in 2009.

“It is great that Jony Ive of Apple and other world leaders in design will be at the summit to inspire the next generation British designers.”

“Design for Growth” brings together leaders in design, business, policy and education to discuss measures to stimulate growth in the economy. Among the guest speakers at the Summit is Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple. He is joined by Ian Callum and Gerry McGovern, Design Directors at Jaguar and Land Rover and Kevin McCloud, author, broadcaster and designer.

The Summit comes within the first 100 days of the Design Council having merged with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) to become an independent charity which is the voice for design and the built environment, and the Government’s advisor on design.

Voicing his support for the important ongoing role which the Design Council plays in putting design at the heart of economic growth, David Willetts said:

“The UK has a world class design sector and we need maintain our role as a global leader which is why we have continued to support the Design Council by investing £4 million.”

In line with the Government’s Plan for Growth, the Design Council will refocus its design mentoring product, Designing Demand, on manufacturing firms and particularly those with advanced manufacturing capability.

Minister of State for Business and Enterprise Mark Prisk said:

“It’s great news that a number of small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses will be given the chance to have free design mentoring over the next year.

Companies must innovate and stay ahead of their rivals to be successful on a global scale. That is why we are making these crucial investments in industrial innovation.”

“Today’s announcement is just part of a range of business mentoring opportunities to help small firms grow and prosper. We will shortly be launching a new network of business mentors which will help SMEs get advice from those who know best.”

Martin Temple, Chair of the Design Council said:

“I believe this Summit marks a pivotal moment in the use of design by Britain’s businesses. The commitment to hard-wiring the use of design into the forthcoming innovation strategy is an important step, and I look forward to working with government to explore how we can progress the other ideas coming from this powerful gathering of leading thinkers.”

‘Design for Growth’ takes place at the Design Council, Covent Garden and will be attended by over 150 representatives from the world of design, government and industry. Hundreds more have registered to join the debate by taking part in a live interactive webcast of the sessions.

For further information, please contact:

Dan Palmer, BIS Communications on 07810 506388 / 020 7215 5303 /

Nigel Campbell, Head of Communications, Design Council on 07825 442339 / 0207 420 5282 /