Design Council research shows design as force for economic growth

The contribution and value of design across the UK economy in 2013 was £71.7bn in gross value added (GVA).

The Design Economy 2015 research explores the value contributed by designers working in both design-specific and non-design industries.

This definition more accurately represents the benefits and contribution design makes – the ‘design economy’.

The report, endorsed by the government, shows that in 2013 the design economy generated £71.7bn in gross value added (GVA), accounting for 7.2% of the total GVA.

Between 2009-2013, the design economy GVA increased by 27.9%, compared to 18.1% across the UK economy as a whole.

Design Council chief executive, John Mathers explained: “Design Council has long recognised design’s contribution to economic growth, and this new report provides evidence of how investment in design is helping to raise productivity, stimulate growth and make Britain more prosperous.”

Manufacturing sectors tend to employ between 5% and 10% of the workforce in design roles, with a small number employing up to 15%.

This reflects the key role of designers in the design and specification of products and processes across the manufacturing sector, and the emerging role of designers in influencing service provision.

Mathers continued: “The figures in our latest report speak for themselves. The design economy is creating thousands of jobs, exponentially improving British export markets and contributing billions to our economy.

“It is vital that it is recognised and supported in order for this growth to continue.”

Approximately 580,000 people are directly employed in the UK’s design industries, while a further 1 million designers work across the economy in non-design industries.

This makes the design economy equivalent to the ninth biggest employer in the UK.