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Design in the Public Sector programme applications open

Councils in England are set to benefit from this year’s Design in the Public Sector programme which is themed on tackling climate change, the LGA and Design Council have announced.

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Applications are now open for this year’s programme, which will focus on helping councils to explore their most pressing climate challenges. It will help councils, key partners and local people come together to explore local climate change challenges and consider how to create lasting positive change for their communities.

The LGA, which represents councils in England, and the Design Council will lead the flagship 18-week innovation programme to help councils to tackle climate issues such as decarbonising transport, increasing uptake of active travel, improving air quality, and building environmental social value into council governance and processes.

As councils continue to play a key role in the national societal and economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the Design in the Public Sector programme will equip participants with the design skills to tackle climate change locally and assist in a green economic recovery.

As part of the LGA’s wider sector-led improvement offer, participants will share their learning experience from the programme with other councils across the country to help them learn from best practice.

Four introductory webinars will be open to all councils, free of charge, to explore how design thinking can be applied to address climate challenges. Councils interested in the programme have until 5pm on Friday 4 September 2020 to apply.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said:

“Councils continue to show that they are best placed to innovate and lead on delivering the services their communities depend on.

“To date, we have supported more than 70 councils and over 350 public sector leaders to adopt design tools and methods through Design in the Public Sector, and we are pleased to offer nine new councils the opportunities to continue on their improvement journey.

“By working with the Design Council, participants will refocus their challenge around their residents and as a result, are more likely to develop more user appropriate systems and services, alongside progressing their climate action aims in their communities.”

Design Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah Weir OBE, said:

“The need to act on the climate crisis is clear. Design plays a crucial role in bringing about real, lasting change – with public sector workers being the ones who can create the conditions for that change. We really look forward to working with local authority teams, teaching them all-important design skills, helping them to imagine new possibilities, and supporting them as they develop innovative ways to protect our precious planet, people and ecosystems.”  


For more information about the programme and to apply please visit our Design in the public sector webpage.

The Design in the Public Service (DiPS) programme was created to develop the design skills of those developing, commissioning and delivering local services.  Since 2015, DiPS has been delivered in partnership with the LGA for more than 70 local authorities across the UK. Together, they have received almost £400,000 in public funding to work on social challenges.