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 Local Government Association and the Design Council have opened applications for this year’s programme, which will focus on helping nine councils to explore their most pressing climate challenges and consider how to create lasting positive change for their communities.

The two organisations 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 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.

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.”

Sarah Weir, chief executive of the Design Council, 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.”