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Good Design Brings A Competitive Edge To The South East

11 June 2010

Business sales across the South East have increased by an estimated £10.4million as a result of the Designing Demand Generate (DDG) programme, supported by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA).

Since its inception in 2007, the design-focused programme has not only helped increase sales for the businesses involved, but also create 78 news jobs and safeguarded a further 162 jobs, according to a recent evaluation.

The programme provides small and medium sized businesses with the opportunity to receive hands-on support and mentoring from industry leading professional designers.  Typical projects involve expert advice on product and engineering design, as well as branding, web design and marketing & communications.

Surrey based Magnet Shultz Ltd (MSL) tapped into the programme in order to evolve the next stage of its branding and communications. The result was a distinctive brand identity providing MSL with a clear advantage above it competitors.

Andrew Newton, Managing Director at MSL, comments: “The Company is now better positioned and we have a clearer identity in the market place and within the company. Before participating in the programme we were a UK subsidiary of a German company selling products in the UK. Now we have learned to design our own products in the UK and sell worldwide."

Susan Priest, Business Development Director at SEEDA, comments: “Over the last four years SEEDA has provided companies across the South East with the unique opportunity to gain the very best knowledge and skills from design industry experts.  Bringing design to the forefront of business has made sure companies stand out from competitors, providing them with a valuable tool in preparation for the economic upturn.”Before the DDG programme started, the Design Council ran a national survey of small and medium sized businesses and found the average amount invested in design was only £2,000.  The figure has now risen to £10,000, demonstrating the growing importance design has across business. Demonstrating a return on investment the DDG programme delivers a £14 increase in turnover for every £1 invested.

Designing Demand was developed by the Design Council, is funded by SEEDA and delivered through Business Link. 

For media enquiries, please contact: Fiona Elliott, PR & Marketing Executive on 01483 470181 or fionaelliott@seeda.co.uk.

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