HC Deb 29 February 1984 vol 55 c249
12. Mr. Batiste

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the latest figure for the total number of applications made under the Design Advisory Service funded consultancy scheme.

Mr. Butcher

Up to the end of January 1984 a total of 1,491 applications had been received. The rate of applications currently being received — about 80 per month—is almost double that of the same period last year.

Mr. Batiste

Does my hon. Friend agree that successful design work is essential to British industry if it is to capture its proper share of the growing market in consumer goods? Is he satisfied that British industry as a whole is making sufficient use of this excellent scheme?

Mr. Butcher

The scheme is an excellent supply side measure, which has been used to good effect by all sectors of British industry. My hon. Friend has a strong point. We should use our functional engineering and industrial designers to far greater effect to help companies to address the domestic and international markets with far more vigour. For consumer goods in particular, there is evidence that the well-designed products are the products consumers will buy, and more of them should and must be British.