Support for the creative economy

Written evidence submitted by the Chartered Society of Designers [SCE 080]


The Committee is inviting written submissions and requesting views on the following issues:

Committee Issue 1

How best to develop the legacy from the Olympics and Paralympics of the display of UK talent in the creative industries in both Opening and Closing ceremonies and more generally in the design of the Games;


· Celebrate the success of design in delivering a unique visitor, viewer and participant experience. Venue design, as an integral part of service design, was key to the achievements of the Olympic and Paralympic games and any stimulation of the promotion and study of this subject area could lead to more competent practitioners. The games provide perhaps one of the best case studies on the subject.

· Design played a crucial role in enhancing performance in the games in both the equipment used by participants and the venue facilities. Design for sport could become an initiative within the design sector that could engage at all ages and all abilities within the populous.

Committee Issue 2

Barriers to growth in the creative industries-such as difficulties in accessing private finance-and the ways in which Government policy should address them. Whether lack of co-ordination between government departments inhibits this sector;


· In terms of design one of the key barriers is possibly the lack of comprehensive representation from within the sector or government.

· The sector is represented by several SSC’s and since April, these bodies have different accountability and funding streams making it difficult to follow how engagement should be undertaken

· Other bodies, trade and councils are all guilty of non-cooperation across the sector. As the Professional body we have a duty to the individual members rather than companies or institutions and therefore we have a different role to play than trade bodies. As a charity we must act in the public benefit and therefore have a role to play in finding platforms upon which various sectors of the design industry can collaborate or at least engage in a common language. An understanding by government and acceptance of the different roles organisations play could greatly assist in ensuring understanding if not cooperation and most certainly avoid division.

· An understanding by government of the role of design leading to an overall government strategy on design would assist in directing the bodies, both public and private to address this barrier and potentially others too.

Committee Issue 3

The impact on the creative industries of the independent Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, and the Government’s Response to it. The impact of the failure, as yet, to implement the Digital Economy Act, which was intended to strengthen copyright enforcement. The impact of proposals to change copyright law without recourse to primary legislation (under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill currently before Parliament);


Intellectual Property is the new currency of design and must at all costs be protected. The Society would be concerned about any form of quasi-judicial approach to strengthening IP enforcement preferring the strength afforded in primary legislation.

Committee Issue 4

The extent to which taxation supports the growth of the creative economy, including whether it would be desirable to extend the tax reliefs targeted at certain sectors in the 2012 Budget;


Design is merely one aspect of business and as such its growth as a sector is dependent on the growth of the economy as a whole. The Society has no doubt that fiscal policy can stimulate economic growth but would like to see any tax relief targeted at overall initiatives which include all aspects of the business model and value chain. Isolating design as a component of business is not desirable and a ‘joined up’ approach to tax relief in certain sectors that make use of design would be welcome. It is crucial that such an initiative is proven and as such the government should fully research and report outcomes to the design sector and industry.

Committee Issue 5

Ways to establish a strong skills base to support the creative economy, including the role of further and higher education in this;


· Working alongside industry and education through the CSD Course Endorsement Programme (CSD CEP) we deliver on-going support to enable partnerships between industry and education and so have a strong understanding and experience of how skills and education are valued, integrated and engaged with by industry.

· The CSD CEP has three awards for design education across vocational, academic and professional training (For more information go to For those courses that meet the robust criteria of CEP, and therefore considered fit for purpose by the professional body, we are committed to engagement ensuring the individuals who graduate successfully are professional and thus approach the profession of design, with the creativity, professionalism, skills and knowledge the Society expect of its members and industry expects of its workforce.

· The CSD CEP model of delivery supports the skills base of the students, the lecturers, technicians, teachers and industry representatives on this programme.

· Currently the model focuses on short bursts of exposure of students to industry encouraging on-going collaboration and partnership. In addition we are developing strong support programmes for the technicians and teachers / lecturers to recognise their skills and knowledge

· This model promotes and contextualises professionalism in design and is proving to be successful in truly bridging the gap ‘from Learning to Earning’™. Through strengthening the delivery of design skills and on-going support of the new generation of designers, the Society is seeking to strengthen professionalism in design and ensure robust progression pathways into industry.

· CSD would like to see entry into the sector through non graduate routes developed and supported by industry and education-including fit for purpose apprenticeship frameworks within design.

· CSD support those organisations who run work placements, live projects, paid internships, etc. and would seek to ensure these are maintained with strong assessment processes in place for students to fully understand the value these placements have in their career development

Committee Issue 6

The importance of "clusters" and "hubs" in facilitating innovation and growth in the creative sector. Whether there is too much focus on hubs at the expense of encouraging a greater geographical spread of companies through effective universal communication; and


· CSD support hubs and clusters, however, support for those businesses which are designing and contributing to the creative industries as a whole without necessarily innovating should equally be supported and considered in on-going growth agendas.

· The Society is concerned that any artificially created silos may inhibit cross disciplinary understanding, knowledge transfer and ultimately practice. Such separations need careful management and sensitive analysis.

Committee Issue 7

The work of the Creative Industries Council and other public bodies responsible for supporting the sector.


· The CIC appears to have a limited remit in terms of its representation of design (view a full list of design sectors [1] CSD are engaged with) and the Skills Group report with over 25 recommendations whilst valuable, did not cover all aspects of the sector.

· CSD value the concept of the CIC and the Skills group, but the members of the Society are unsure as to the extent of its influence or whether it truly represents design providers or those who use design, both of which are key CSD stakeholder groups.

November 2012


Prepared 21st November 2012