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Design & Crafts Council Ireland announces strong economic contribution after year one of five-year strategy at AGM

Posted 21.06.2023
Press Releases

  • Government investment delivering strong growth with over 59,000 directly employed in craft and design, an increase of 5,000 people employed
  • Direct economic contribution of €2.9 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) with total economic contribution standing at €4.5 billion GVA, an increase of 25% since previous report*
  • A growth of almost 10% in employees directly working in craft and design from 2021
  • Revenue per full time employee stood at €107K, based on research into DCCI’s top 150 clients – an increase of 6% from the previous year**
  • Design is becoming more critical in Ireland’s transition to a sustainable economy
  • Investments in new DCCI Academy and digital platforms accelerates organisation’s futureproofing

21st June 2023: Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) hosted its AGM on Wednesday 21st June, in Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, Dublin 2. CEO Rosemary Steen today announced the results following the first year of DCCI’s 2022-2026 strategy. The strategy, developed with KPMG in 2021, outlines the Council’s vision, mission and values for the sector through four strategic pillars.***


A growth of almost 10% in employees directly working in craft and design from the previous Economic Assessment report 2021 by Grant Thornton, highlights the positive impact of strong government investment and on the ground delivery in the sector. Previously 54,000 were directly employed, this has grown to 59,000, making the craft and design sector the 10th largest sector in the Irish economy. When taking into account the total employment across design and craft industries, 113,000 are employed through direct, indirect and induced impacts, a 7.6% increase from 2021.*


The total economic contribution of the craft and design sector is €4.5 billion worth of GVA (Gross Value Added), an increase of 25% since the previous report carried out by DCCI in 2021. Furthermore the sector is hugely important in the role it plays in creating regionalised employment with over 75% of businesses operating outside of Dublin.*


DCCI as the national agency for the design and craft sector in Ireland focused on growing its contribution to economy, society and culture. Its results at the end of year one of the five-year strategy showed a growth of over 12% in membership registrations. This demonstrates an increased interest in services provided by DCCI, as design and craft firms seek ways to generate further opportunities. A survey of 540 DCCI clients throughout 2022, revealed the top 150 DCCI clients have enjoyed a rise in revenue per full time employee year on year with a 6% increase from 2021, from €101,000 to €107,000. The same cohort’s domestic sales figure stood at €76.1m for 2022.**


The five-year strategy implemented in 2022 responds to an increased need for education in business, digitalisation, and craft for DCCI’s registered makers and businesses. The survey revealed 40% of products from the sector are exported, confirming the requirement to serve both domestic and international customers. This survey also revealed 80% of craft and design businesses want to grow their online sales. This focus on digitalisation is supported by the Council through education and training courses as well as its own digital practices. Research has also revealed that 62% of craft and design businesses have implemented sustainability measures.**


Along with the report findings from Market Dynamics Economic Client Survey 2022, Grant Thornton Economic Assessment, key performance indicators from KPMG and the Quarterly Sentiment Tracker of 2022, DCCI announced its highlights from 2022. This included Showcase Ireland 2022, which generated orders of over €20 million at the tradeshow; Design Week which delivered 72 events attended by 2,350 people and gained attention from international design leaders; August Craft Month, an all-island initiative in partnership with Craft NI and Cork Craft & Design, delivering 265 events across all 32 counties and the Made Local campaign which currently has 1,589 participants.


Rosemary Steen, CEO of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, commented: “The research shows that the design and craft sector is ambitious for growth, not only in Ireland but globally. Our sector is a huge contributor to the overall economy. Not only that but the design and craft sector is also sustainability focused and has moved into the digital era, selling online and exporting abroad. The sector is in a great position growing strongly and with more supports it can excel in its economic contribution.”

Notes to Editors

*Grant Thornton research findings:

A recent Grant Thornton research update into the economic impact of the design and craft sector in Ireland was carried out in May 2022. The most recent findings outlined that the design and craft sector contributed the following:

  • €10.3bn in turnover, with a total turnover for the sector growing by 115% since 2012 and the post-financial crisis low in 2012.
  • €2.9bn worth of Gross Value Added (GVA) to the national economy. The sector has seen rapid growth since 2017 (c.22%), with growth being only slightly behind the national growth (c.23%).Design & Craft Sector had an overall economic contribution/impact of €4.5bn worth of GVA.
  • The sector is a key employer, with 59,000 people employed in design-intensive and craft businesses. When including those employed in ‘design in other sectors’ there are c.113,000 people employed in design related and craft services making it the 10th largest sector comparable to the Administrative & Support Services sector in size which stands at c.113,000.
  • Previous Grant Thornton Economic Assessment 2021 report linked here.


**Market Dynamics Report:

DCCI’s Annual Client Economic Survey seeks to obtain detailed input on performance of businesses in design & craft industry in Ireland and among select businesses abroad. 540 businesses responded to the survey through a link sent via email to DCCI database.

***The strategic pillars include:

  • Building capability and capacity to deliver resilient growth
  • Championing design across Ireland
  • Leading & demonstrating sustainability
  • Common enabler: delivering a future proof council

Please find the full DCCI 2022-2026 strategy here.


Please find the full DCCI 2022-2026 strategy here.


*Figures sourced by Grant Thornton from EuroStat 



**Research by Market Dynamics


***DCCI Strategy 2022-2026


For further information:

Please contact Eimear Harding, Communications and Public Affairs Manager, DCCI, 083 023 8743 or email [email protected]

For press information please contact Claire Feely at Elevate PR, 01 662 5652 or email [email protected] 


About Design & Crafts Council Ireland
Design & Crafts Council Ireland is the national agency for craft and design in Ireland, we support designers and makers to develop their businesses in a sustainable way, and advocate for the societal benefits of craft and design. DCCI’s activities are funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment via Enterprise Ireland. DCCI currently has 64 member organisations and over 3,600 registered clients. @dccireland