Design Initiative, the organisation that supported the design industry in the North West of England for 20 years, has been forced to close due to funding cuts.
In a statement Design Initiative said its closure on Friday 13 April resulted from a loss of funding from "a number of sources" over the past 12 months. It was one of the bodies which saw its funding cut completely by the Arts Council during its savage cuts of March 2011.
The organisation, which for a time shared its Manchester office space with The Drum, worked with designers, artists and makers to help them grow their businesses and provided an active voice for the design sector. It promoted the benefit of good design and provided an information and advice service to a network of 3,000 members in the North West.
Founded in 1992 as Liverpool Design Initiative, it extended its operation to Manchester in 2000 and later to the whole of the North West. It was the driving force behind the Liverpool Design Show and the Manchester Design Symposium.
In a statement, the organisation said its achievements included "directly assisting 2,300 designers, makers and artists to generate sales to the value of £15 million and helping to create over 150 jobs".
Roger Morris, chair of Design Initiative's board, said: "During its 20 years in existence, Design Initiative has had a substantial impact on the growth and continued success of the design and contemporary craft sectors. It has enabled thousands of designers to establish, grow and sustain their businesses. It has also retained the talent of designers, makers and artists in the region, to ensure they are part of a thriving community and a centre for dynamic creative practice.
“The organisation would like to take this opportunity to thank all of its staff, funders and sponsors - past and present - for their support over the last 20 years. Without their efforts, Design Initiative would not have been able to accomplish what it has done.”