Walpole is the official sector body for UK luxury. Founded in 1992 as a not-for-profit organisation, it counts more than 250 British brands in its membership and is recognised in both Westminster and Brussels. As the voice of British luxury, Walpole’s purpose is to promote, protect and develop a sector worth £48 billion to the UK economy and the jewel in the crown of UK business.
Walpole actively seeks out UK and international business opportunities, promoting growth in the industry through a programme of initiatives, including the annual trade mission and press showcase to the US. The UK China Visitor Alliance (UKCVA) has had great success lobbying government to make the visa application system simpler, helping bring more Chinese visitors to the UK. As founders of the European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance (ECCIA), Walpole cements and champions relationships with Europe’s luxury and creative sectors, lobbying the EU on key policy issues like selective distribution and IP protection, and supporting pan-European business and cultural connections post-Brexit.
Dedicated to creating a pipeline of growth for Britain’s luxury brands, Walpole also runs the annual mentoring programmes Brands of Tomorrow and the Programme in Luxury Management at London Business School.
In addition, Walpole hosts at least 50 events each year for its members, bringing the sector together to share ideas, best practice and to make meaningful connections with peers. In the media, it also provides a collective voice for luxury on key topics, commissions industry-leading research and works with government on issues affecting the sector.
Formed in 1990 as ‘The Churchill Group’ by top-tier British companies, including British Airways, Chewton Glen, Coutts & Co, DAKS Simpson, the Financial Times, The Savoy Group and William Grant & Sons, the aim of the organisation was to promote British excellence, providing a community for the exchange of best practice ideas to drive business development. In 1992, The Churchill Group became Walpole.
For the first time, British excellence was given a collective voice in the competitive global market: through Walpole, these companies aimed to promote and maintain the highest standards of British commerce and industry. In 2005, Walpole refined its mission statement from promoting British excellence to promoting, protecting and developing British luxury.Facetime for PC/a>
Walpole takes its name from the great statesman Sir Robert Walpole (1676-1745). A highly regarded commercial minister famous for his promotion of overseas trade, he contributed to a golden age of craftsmanship and manufacturing. Continuing this tradition, Walpole increases awareness of its members, enhancing Britain's global reputation as a dynamic commercial and cultural nation.