Release date: 30 January 2012
Design Council initiative takes design to where small and medium businesses are, and helps them access mentoring in how to use design to survive, thrive and grow.
Today sees the launch of a road show which will travel the country encouraging businesses to use design to improve sales, protect jobs and compete in the tough economic climate.
The events – starting next week in Nottingham and continuing around the country during February and March, will bring together design experts and business mentors with small and medium sized manufacturing firms to show them that, in spite of current testing economic times, now is the time to
take up the subsidised opportunities currently on offer to access mentoring in how to use design to become more innovative, and compete more effectively.
One such opportunity, the Design Council’s business mentoring programme, Designing Demand, is a mentoring service that works with SMEs in a highly practical way to develop a design-led project with the power to transform their business. A programme that has mentored over 650 SMEs in recent
years, can point to a recent independent evaluation that showed that businesses can expect, typically, over £25 return on investment for every pound invested in design. The initiative is supported by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), which provides a 50% subsidy towards the cost to businesses wishing to join the programme.
Businesses interested in signing up for a free interactive workshop and the opportunity for a one-to-one consultation with a Design Council Design Associate on how the programme might best serve them should visit the Design Council website: www.designcouncil.org.uk/designingdemandworkshop
Venues ranging from the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham to the Stadium of Light football ground in Sunderland will provide the backdrop for the Design Council-sponsored events.
Speaking about the programme, Ellie Runcie, Director of Design Innovation Services at the Design
“It is undoubtedly a challenging time for businesses, however now is the right time to invest in identifying new routes for growth. Over the years we have seen hundreds of business owners move from being healthy sceptics to strong advocates of design, making it an integral part of their
operations and using it as a critical tool for innovation. Design has been helping hundreds of businesses around the UK to diversify their products and services, strengthen their position in existing markets as well as open up new markets. This investment has been delivering results, with a potential return on investment of more than £25 for every £1 a business spends on design”.
Over the last ten years the Design Council has assembled and trained a network of 50 leading design management specialists, with industry experience across a range of businesses including blue chip names such as Virgin Atlantic, Philips and British Airways. These experts work on a one-to-one basis with businesses enrolled on the programme to help them identify a design project which could give them real competitive advantage, and assist in procuring a designer to work with. At
the end the skills learned in working with designers for solid business advantage can be embedded for future use within the business.
Notes to Editors
The events are as follows:
- Wednesday 8 February – Midlands
Technology Demonstrator, Sir Colin Campbell Building, Triumph Road, Nottingham, NG7 2TU
- Thursday 9 February – South Yorkshire
Advanced Manufacturing Park, Brunel Way, Rotherham, S60 5WG
- Friday 10 February – North East
Stadium of Light, Sunderland SR5 1SU
Coming up soon - Dates/venues TBC:
- North West
- South East
- South West
The Design Council’s mentoring service supports private sector clients to understand the value design can bring, identify potential opportunities and through mentoring support the implementation of practical projects which will have an impact on business.
Further Information/to book a place:
Contact Ann Crawley, Design Innovation Services Manager, Design Council, 0207 420 5237. Ann.firstname.lastname@example.org