IPG launches skills foundation

IPG launches skills foundation

The Independent Publishers Guild is to launch a charitable body aimed at improving the skills and business practices of its members.

The IPG Foundation will fund a series of programmes including one-on-one mentoring, leadership coaching, apprenticeships and “a whole package of professional development opportunities”.  

The body will have charitable and limited-by-guarantee status and operate “at arms length” from the IPG. It will be supported by the IPG Patrons, a committee of former publishers who continue to advise the trade body after selling their companies. The 17-strong group of patrons—who become IPG life members by contributing “at least” £2,000 to the organisation—includes Woodhead Publishing founder Martin Woodhead, ex-Earthscan owner Edward Milford and Jill Pearce, who launched Donhead Publishing in 1990.

Cavendish Publishing founder Sonny Leong will oversee the foundation, stepping down from his current role as IPG honorary president to lead the scheme. The programme’s first activities will be revealed after this year’s London Book Fair. 

IPG c.e.o. Bridget Shine emphasised that the foundation would not compete with established development schemes such as the Publishing Training Centre. She said: “Ultimately, the IPG is about helping our members improve their businesses. Facilitating professional development is a huge part of our work and we hope all of our members will take advantage of these new opportunities.”

Shine also revealed that there are 82 different companies exhibiting at this year’s IPG stand, the same number of exhibitors as there was at LBF 2014. Shine said: “With a new venue we didn’t know what to expect, [we] thought we may have fewer people. In fact, we have taken even more space than at Earls Court because we have more exhibitors taking larger spaces. I’m pleased that we’ve have a few first-time exhibitors, such as Nosy Crow and the London Stereoscopic Company.”