Coutts London Jewellery Week returns in 2009 with renewed commitment to support SMEs

Coutts London Jewellery Week returns in 2009 with renewed commitment to support SMEs

London’s jewellery industry will unite for the second time to celebrate the excellence of creative design in the capital. Coutts London Jewellery Week is a public and private sector initiative that is in line with Government policy to maximise support for SMEs and entrepreneurs. Recent speeches by Gordon Brown and Boris Johnson have outlined government driven initiatives for industry leaders to support small and independent businesses which are integral to Britain’s economy.

In 2009, as part of the sponsorship, Coutts is also supporting the Coutts New Jewellers Awards, which have been created to support and recognise excellent new talent in jewellery design and manufacturing.

As part of the overall initiative, 20 top up-and-coming jewellers will be eligible for complimentary participation in Coutts London Jewellery Week and can also draw on the Bank’s wealth of expertise at a dedicated Coutts Business Development Forum for the industry, where keynote speakers will be on hand to offer top tips to jewellery designers and entrepreneurs on how to sustain and grow their businesses.

Whilst the UK jewellery sector currently outstrips rival European and global markets in terms of sales, and has become a global centre of jewellery design excellence, it is unsurprisingly facing challenging times in the current economic climate. Coutts London Jewellery Week is the capital’s best way of raising the profile of its creative talent and technical expertise in jewellery whilst supporting small businesses in a time of major uncertainty. The Week generates increased footfall for these enterprises by encouraging visitors to visit from across the UK and internationally.

Commenting on Coutts London Jewellery Week, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “I’m delighted that Coutts London Jewellery Week is returning to London for a second year. Our city is rightly recognised around the world for its imaginative creativity in art and design. There is nowhere else that such beautiful gems could be so exquisitely matched with fine craftsmanship and flair to create extraordinary pieces – which is why I see London as the unrivalled home of world-class jewellery.”

The impact that Coutts London Jewellery Week 2008 had on small businesses was significant. Josie Ballin from Cockpit Arts, a collection of studios showcasing some of London’s finest contemporary designers, said: “We had a 95% increase on the average daily attendance!”

Sarah Deaves, Chief Executive, Coutts & Co commented: “This year, our involvement in Coutts London Jewellery Week is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to supporting the world of entrepreneurs and contemporary art and design, helping to ensure the jewellery industry retains profile during a time when it is most in need, and that enterprise in jewellery is recognised regionally, nationally and internationally.”

There are almost 10,000 substantial independent speciality jewellery retailers around the country, but London is undeniably the heart of the industry. The capital accounts for 25% of the UK’s total precious jewellery manufacturing, many of which reside within Hatton Garden – the iconic jewellery quarter at the heart of Camden – where some 400 jewellers are located in just 0.1 km2.

Guy Nicholson, Chairman City Fringe Partnership
“The City Fringe Partnership are thrilled that Coutts is supporting London Jewellery Week for the second year running. The introduction of the Coutts New Jewellers Awards means that there will be additional opportunities for new designers to participate in the Week and this year’s programme will have plenty for visitors to see and do. We are all looking forward to putting on a showcase of London’s jewellery talent that has something for everyone.”

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