City of London Livery Company for the Communications and Content Industries
The Company’s mission is to be the most effective independent forum in the UK Communications and Content industries, actively contributing to the strategic development, success and education of these industries. The majority of our members work in, or supply, the paper, print, publishing, packaging, office products, newspaper, broadcasting and online media industries.
What is a Livery Company?
Livery Companies were first created by groups of medieval tradesmen who joined together to promote, protect and regulate their trades. Charitable giving is a very strong element of the work of all livery companies.
There are 110 livery companies in London, each representing a discrete profession or trade. Some companies, whose trades are now largely defunct, draw their members more widely and devote their resources largely to charitable activities. Others that have been formed more recently are entirely focused on their trades. The Stationers’ Company is almost unique for a 600-year-old company in that over 90% of our members are actively involved in the Communications and Content industries and our charitable activities are directed towards education for young people coming into these industries and the welfare of families connected with them.
600 years ago most craftsmen in London were itinerant. However the manuscript writers and illuminators decided to concentrate their efforts and set up stalls or ‘stations’ around St Paul’s Cathedral. Because of this they were given the nickname ‘Stationers’ and this was the obvious choice of name for the guild they established in 1403 and for its home, Stationers’ Hall, which remains within a stone’s throw of the Cathedral in Ave Maria Lane.
When printing came to England in the late 15th century, the Stationers had the good sense to embrace it and we have continued to adapt to the many changes in the Communications and Content industries ever since. The technology may have changed from pen and inks to print and online links but the name has always remained the same.
Today the Company has over 900 members, the vast majority of whom are senior executives in the complete range of trades within the Communications and Content industries, from paper, print, publishing, packaging, office products, newspapers, broadcasting and online media. Membership is drawn from across the UK and increasingly throughout the world and now includes major companies as well as individual members.
Since 1557 the Company has been involved with education, initially in the management of apprenticeships for its trades but in 1861 it opened the Stationers’ School just off Fleet Street and later moved to Hornsey. This, sadly, was closed in 1984 and the partnership with Crown Woods in September 2014 marks the end of a long quest to find another school to support. The Company has pledged to offer support to the Academy, in a variety of ways:
- By providing four governors.
- By contributing to the development of a specialist digital media curriculum and to provide specialist equipment to support it.
- By providing experienced people to mentor students and to provide links to suitable businesses to offer work experience, careers advice, work placements and apprenticeships.
- By providing funds to insure that all students have an equal opportunity to participate fully in the digital curriculum.
If you would like to find out more about the Stationers’ Company, please visit their web site by clicking here.