IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Growing Design? Challenges and Constraints Facing Design Consultancies in Three English City-Regions


  • Peter Sunley
  • Steven Pinch
  • James Macmillen


Sunley P., Pinch S. and Macmillen J. Growing design? Challenges and constraints facing design consultancies in three English city-regions, Regional Studies. There is some debate as to whether creative industries can thrive in second-tier industrial city-regions, as well as in leading global cities. This paper uses the results of firm interviews with design consultancies to examine their experiences in three industrial cities in the United Kingdom: Manchester; Newcastle, and Birmingham. It highlights the major constraints on growth in each city and it emphasizes the quantity and quality of demand, and the availability of skilled labour. It considers the effects of design and cultural policy initiatives and finds that most measures are perceived to have had only ambiguous and minor supportive impacts. [image omitted] Sunley P., Pinch S. et Macmillen J. Developper la conception? Les defis et les contraintes auxquels font face les cabinets-conseil en conception dans trois cites-regions d'Angleterre, Regional Studies. On a fait couler beaucoup d'encre sur la capacite des industries innovatrices de prosperer dans des cites-regions industrielles a deuxieme niveau, aussi bien que dans les grandes villes mondialisees de premier plan. Cet article se sert des resultats des interviews aupres des cabinets-conseil en conception afin d'examiner leurs experiences dans trois grandes villes industrielles au Royaume-Uni: a savoir, a Manchester, a Newcastle et a Birmingham. On met l'accent sur les principales contraintes a la croissance dans chaque grande ville et souligne la quantite et la qualite de la demande, et la disponibilite de la main-d'oeuvre qualifiee. On considere les effets des initiatives en faveur de la conception et de la politique culturelle. Il s'avere que la plupart des initiatives sont considerees n'avoir eu que des effets de soutien ambigus et mineurs. Conception Cabinets-conseil Cite-region Contraintes Politique Sunley P., Pinch S. und Macmillen J. Wachsendes Design? Herausforderungen und Hindernisse fur Designberatungsfirmen in drei englischen Stadtregionen, Regional Studies. Die Frage, ob kreative Branchen in industriellen Stadtregionen der zweiten Ebene ebenso gut gedeihen konnen wie in fuhrenden Weltstadten, wird kontrovers diskutiert. In diesem Beitrag untersuchen wir anhand der Ergebnisse von Interviews mit Designberatungsfirmen die Erfahrungen dieser Firmen in drei Industriestadten Grossbritanniens: Manchester, Newcastle und Birmingham. Wir verdeutlichen die wichtigsten Wachstumshindernisse in den jeweiligen Stadten unter besonderer Berucksichtigung der Quantitat und Qualitat der Nachfrage sowie der Verfugbarkeit von qualifizierten Arbeitskraften. Ebenso untersuchen wir die Auswirkungen von design- und kulturpolitischen Initiativen und stellen fest, dass die Auswirkungen der meisten Massnahmen als zweifelhaft und wenig hilfreich beurteilt werden. Design Beratung Stadtregion Beschrankungen Politik Sunley P., Pinch S. y Macmillen J. ¿Crecimiento del diseno? Retos y limitaciones de empresas consultoras de diseno en tres regiones metropolitanas de Inglaterra, Regional Studies. Se debate si las industrias creativas pueden prosperar en regiones metropolitanas industriales de segundo nivel tan bien como en metropolis lideres. En este articulo utilizamos los resultados de entrevistas con empresas consultoras de diseno para analizar sus experiencias en tres ciudades industriales del Reino Unido: Manchester, Newcastle y Birmingham. Destacamos cuales son los principales obstaculos para el crecimiento de cada ciudad y ponemos de relieve la cantidad y calidad de demanda y la disponibilidad de trabajadores cualificados. Tambien analizamos los efectos de las iniciativas politicas de diseno y cultura y constatamos que la mayoria de medidas han tenido solamente un efecto ambiguo y de poco apoyo. Diseno Empresa consultora Region metropolitana Limitaciones Politica

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Sunley & Steven Pinch & James Macmillen, 2010. "Growing Design? Challenges and Constraints Facing Design Consultancies in Three English City-Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(7), pages 873-887.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:44:y:2010:i:7:p:873-887 DOI: 10.1080/00343401003604671

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vincent Frigant, 2002. "Geographical proximity and supplying relationships in modular production," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 742-755, December.
    2. Yannick Lung, 2004. "The changing geography of the European automobile system," International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(2/3), pages 137-165.
    3. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Foreign direct investment as a catalyst for industrial development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 335-356, February.
    4. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2003. ""Footloose" Multinationals?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(1), pages 1-19, January.
    5. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
    6. Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 1996. "Multinationals, Linkages, and Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 852-873, September.
    7. Stephen S. Golub, 2003. "Measures Of Restrictions on Inward Foreign Direct Investment for OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 357, OECD Publishing.
    8. Gereffi, Gary, 1999. "International trade and industrial upgrading in the apparel commodity chain," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-70, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Haans, Richard & van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, 2018. "Expected job creation across the cultural industries : A sectoral division and its implications for cultural policy," Other publications TiSEM 7ce678fe-ba20-4daa-907c-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item


    Design; Consultancy; City-region; Constraints; Policy;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:44:y:2010:i:7:p:873-887. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.