The UK’s definitive international furnishings fair, May Design Series, will this year introduce the Manufacturing Guild Mark Award Gallery, from The Furniture Makers’ Company. The area will host six companies branded with one of the most coveted accolades in the British furniture trade, the Manufacturing Guild Mark Award, showcasing some of the finest UK furniture manufacturers supported by the furnishing industry’s charity.
The Furniture Makers’ Company awards the Manufacturing Guild Mark to companies that demonstrate the highest standards of making, commitment to design and product innovation, as well as exceptional service to customers. In addition, companies are expected to be able to prove financial stability, a commitment to training, and must manufacture predominantly in the United Kingdom.
Jessica Alexander, committee chairman, says: “Holders of the Manufacturing Guild Mark are recognised as some of the best furniture and furnishing manufacturers in Britain. It’s an accolade they have worked hard to earn and deserve to be proud of.
“The manufacturing industry in the UK is worth £10b, representing 1.7% of GDP. The furnishing industry as a whole is estimated to be worth £20b, employs 250,000 and makes a contribution of 3.4% of GDP. More product is being exported but there are huge opportunities for growth – our trade balance is negative with £1b in exports against £3.5b in imports. May Design Series is a great way of showing international as well as domestic buyers the strength of British manufacturing.”
The six Manufacturing Guild Mark holders that will be taking part in the gallery are Artistic Upholstery, Boss Design, Burgess Beds, Hypnos, Michael Tyler Furniture and REH Kennedy.
Market leading manufacturer of office furniture, Boss Design, will be using its stand at the Gallery to display Cega, it tubular office chair. Boasting contoured design to reduce peripheral vision and external noise with internal heat-welded vertical flute upholstery an ideal addition for the modern working environment. Burgess Beds will display selected products from its award-winning bespoke Sanctuary Service which offers every customer the freedom to create their own unique piece of furniture. R.E.H. Kennedy, a British company of trained craftsmen, will be displaying a striking architectural chest with decorative quoins and steeped detail to the plinth.
Russell Langham from R.E.H Kennedy says: “REH Kennedy has not exhibited at the January Interiors show in recent years due to a lack of overseas buyers, and it's great that we now have an opportunity in London to meet those contacts again at May Design Series. It's a privilege to be asked to showcase our products in the Gallery, and we are looking forward to introducing visitors to some of our new additions which may take some by surprise - it's a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of what REH Kennedy can do."
Andrew Vaughan, brand director for May Design Series, says: “We are really proud that The Furniture Makers’ Company has specifically chosen our show to host this prestigious showcase of UK manufacturing and design innovation. May Design Series is the UK’s only definitive international furnishings fair and is the perfect platform for them to appeal to the wider furnishings industry whilst raising their profile internationally. I can’t wait to see the area unveiled and May Design Series hugely influential audience enjoying the gallery.”
In addition to the Manufacturing Guild Mark Gallery, May Design Series is celebrating the best of British with its Designer Makers feature, which will showcase some of the finest craftsmanship from small business which both design and hand-craft furniture. What’s more, the New Design Britain Retrospective will celebrate ten years of bringing upcoming talent to the forefront of the design industry, and introduce an exciting new format for the 2015 Awards.
May Design Series will bring together five design districts - The Furniture Show, DX, Decor, Kitchen + Bathroom and Lighting (including ARC) – to create the UK’s definitive furnishings fair. The show takes place at London’s ExCeL from 18-20th May.