The Design Council has announced new support to help designers get the message across to clients about the benefits of design and hopefully drive up demand for design services.

The support comes in the form of small grants for design organisations to help improve the reach and impact of the existing initiatives around the country which promote the benefits of design. The Design Council says that the grant will support the design organisations to work with their members to promote design, build skills and capability and create a ‘drumbeat’ for design nationwide.

Design organisations are being invited to apply for grants (of around £1,000 to £5,000) to help them improve the reach and impact of their existing activities which target design buyers and users. Starting on 1st July 2010, applications will be invited from national and regional not-for-profit organisations for grants, which will be awarded in September to support events and other initiatives in the current financial year. It is anticipated that up to £100,000 will be distributed in total, with a maximum of £10,000 to any one organisation.

‘We know that design has a vital role to play in translating ideas into brands, products, services and systems, and is at the heart of some of the world’s most successful businesses," says David Kester, chief executive of the Design Council. "The challenge for the new government is to secure economic growth, and as Vince Cable has already made clear, that will come primarily from the private sector. We intend to do our best to help talented designers be at the forefront of promoting design as a key ingredient in securing that economic revival.’

Applications for the Design Council grant can be made by any not-for-profit organisation, including those who are partners in the UK Design Alliance. An application form will be available on the Design Council website at the beginning of July and the closing date for submissions is 1st August 2010. Interested organisations are being invited to send the Design Council an expression of interest and seek advice and guidance from the Design Skills team at the Design Council at any stage in advance of submitting an application.

The grant will be payable between September 2010 and March 2011 and applications must be for activities that take place during this period.