Announcing the Budget the Chancellor included many warm words on the importance of building a new economy for the 21st century, yet it felt like a missed opportunity to provide a fuller statement of intent. Like any Budget, the Chancellor has to cover the bread and butter issues, such as potholes and public lavatories, but there is a need for something that is bigger and bolder. If the Chancellor is to “meet the needs of a new age” investing in design, across the economy, is a key part of the solution.

Design solves problems. It is a job creator, it is highly productive and UK designed products, systems and services are in huge demand across the world. Our Design Economy research, published in July 2018, showed that design is worth £85.2 billion in GVA. This is 73% of the financial services and insurance sector, one of our key success stories.  The importance of design to business has also very recently been recognised by McKinsey. They also found in research published last week, that companies which excel at design see increased revenues and shareholder returns at twice the rate of industry peers.

This backs up our own research. Examples such as the Industrial Strategy and recent sector deals including aerospace and construction all have design at their heart. This shows that government clearly understands both the importance and value of design. Yet when Budgets come around design is too often side-lined. There is little doubt that the coming months and years will involve major change and, as was realised in 1944 when Design Council was created, for this to truly be a success we need to have design at the heart of the economy, not just in parts of it. 

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News & opinion

Monzo: Designing good mental health into the way we bank We caught up with Zander Brade, Lead Product Designer at Monzo Bank, to talk about the importance of design and innovation, and how a focus on mental health showed Monzo that embedding accessibility within products and services will ultimately benefit everyone. How embedding accessibility within products and services will ultimately benefit everyone.

Feature — 17/10/2018

Designing a greener future This week is Green GB week, which is showing how clean growth is helping to provide new job opportunities, grow the economy and help tackle climate change. With the impact of climate change becoming clearer, our purpose is brought into sharper focus.

News — 17/10/2018

Why design is integral to the future of UK exports Design will play a major role if we are to increase to reach the government’s ambition of raising exports as a proportion of GDP by 5%. Design will play a major role if we are to increase to reach the government’s ambition of raising exports as a proportion of GDP by 5%.

News — 24/08/2018

Diversity and business performance – is there a link? The 2018 design economy is 78% male, which is a higher figure than for the wider UK workforce (53% male) and has not improved since the last edition of the Design Economy in 2015. To what extent might inequalities be holding the design economy back from achieving its full value to the UK economy? To what extent might inequalities be holding the design economy back from achieving its full value to the UK economy?

Feature — 13/08/2018

Not at the heart of the NPPF but definitely in the mind We are pleased to see that design plays a much more prominent role in the revised National Planning Policy Framework. We are pleased to see that design plays a much more prominent role in the revised National Planning Policy Framework.

News — 07/08/2018

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