Dezeen Magazine

UK general election: what the manifestos mean for architects and designers

With the UK general election taking place tomorrow, we've broken down the manifestos of the three leading parties to show how their policies could affect architects and designers.

The snap election, which Conservative prime minister Theresa May called ahead of the start of Brexit negotiations, will determine which party will oversee the UK's departure from the European Union.

Here are policies that will affect the creative industries from the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties:

The Conservative Party, led by Theresa May, aims to support architectural and design businesses by offering a creative industries tax relief scheme and protect intellectual property rights. The manifesto also outlines how the party would introduce new technical qualifications known as T-levels, dramatically reduce immigration and to build over one million new homes during its term in parliament.


› Pledges to help creative start-ups by putting in place infrastructure with "favourable tax arrangements" including the creative industries tax credit scheme
› Ensure intellectual property protection is a priority once the UK has left the EU


› Introduce new technical qualifications called T-levels for 16-19 year olds across fifteen subjects including construction, design, digital, engineering and manufacturing


› Control and reduce immigration, bringing numbers down from over 250,000 per year to below 100,000. Overseas students are to be included in immigration figures
Ensure the visa strategy aligns with the industrial strategy, which the party sees the creative industries at the heart of


› Build a million new homes by 2020 (in line with the party's 2015 commitment), plus half a million more by 2022
› Reform Housing White Paper to give councils more power to build
› Improve standard of new-build homes and build high-density housing types such as mansion blocks, mews and terraces
› Introduce new generation of council housing linked to Right to Buy, including multi-generation homes and housing for older people

Read the full Conservative Party manifesto ›

The Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, also makes allowances for businesses in its manifesto by offering lower levels of corporation taxation and putting in place plans to protect intellectual property rights. The manifesto also claims the party would reassess EBacc performance to put creative subjects back on the syllabus and pump funding into school arts facilities. It would aim to build a million new homes and to reintroduce the concept of the New Town.

In addition to its main manifesto the party also drew up a dedicated cultural manifesto setting out how it would support the creative industries. Labour is the only party to dedicate a manifesto to the UK's creative industries. The manifesto claims the party will put the creative sector at the centre of its Brexit negotiations, working to get the "right deal" on issues such as intellectual property and access to investment.


› Reintroduce a lower small profits rate of corporation tax to support small businesses
› Promises to make creative sector central to Brexit negotiations and future industrial strategy
› Protect businesses' intellectual property rights once the UK has left the EU
› Negotiate the right regulations, workforce and data protection, and provide access to investment


› Assess EBacc performance following an ongoing campaign against the exclusion of art and design from the core English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects
› Give schools a £160 million-a-year boost towards improving facilities
› Launch a creative careers advice service to show the breadth of careers on offer within the sector


› Welcome international students, recognising their benefit to both the education sector and their £25 billion-contribution to Britain's economy. Overseas students will not be included in immigration quotas
› Protect those already working in the UK, and implement new migration management systems that will take the form of employer sponsorship, work permits and visa regulations

› Build over a million new homes, including 100,000 council and housing association houses each year
› Overhaul the Homes and Communities Agency to give local councils more power to build
› Develop a new generation of New Towns
› Contribute to climate change targets by effectively insulating new-build homes
› Consult on new minimum space standards and zero-carbon homes

Read the full Labour Party manifesto ›

Many of the policies included in both the party's main and cultural manifestos chime with those included in Dezeen's Brexit Design Manifesto, which was drawn up in the wake of the EU Referendum in June 2016.

Read more about the Labour Party's cultural manifesto ›

The Liberal Democrat Party, led by Tim Farron, would also maintain current standards of intellectual property protection and set up funds to help small businesses develop. Also in its manifesto are plans to improve access to jobs in the creative industries through the school curriculum and new apprenticeship schemes. The party would aim to build 1.5 million new homes during its time in parliament.


› Support small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing access to funding including a "start-up allowance", and to review business rates
› Maintain intellectual property protection standards
› Provide industry-specific tax support
› Support flexible patent, copyright and licensing rules
› Create creative enterprise zones across the UK


 Improve access to arts and creative subjects in the curriculum
› Extend the apprenticeship scheme to the creative and digital industries


› Recognise that immigration is essential to the British economy and society
› Continue to support immigration for highly skilled workers to support key industries
› Remove overseas students from immigration statistics


› Build 300,000 new homes each year, with half a million affordable and energy-efficient houses completed by the end of next parliament
› Create 10 new garden cities across England
 Invest £5 billion of public money in a new British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank to attract private investment
› End Right to Buy pilots

Read the full Liberal Democrat Party manifesto ›