PLDA faces uncertain future, as rival IALD signs 1,000th member

The Professional Lighting Designers’ Association (PLDA) has been forced to ‘question its future’ after a long and expensive legal battle and the withdrawal of most of its sponsorship.

The troubled organisation is now facing the possibility of being declared insolvent by the German courts. Four board members have quit and the lighting equipment manufacturers who support the organisation, known as the circle of sponsors, have withdrawn their support.

The PLDA has also suffered expensive legal setbacks in its dispute with its former publishing and events partner company, Via. Earlier this month, its bank account was frozen, bringing its executive activities to a virtual halt.

In a statement, the organisation told members: ‘Legal conflict, open membership fees and the recent termination of sponsorship from the circle of sponsors have created a financial situation where PLDA is now forced to question its future.

‘The decision of the members of the circle of sponsors to dissolve itself was received with heavy heart by the board.’

The remaining board members have now asked the German courts to appoint an insolvency administrator who will consider making the organisation insolvent in the case of eventual illiquidity.

The board concluded: ‘We now face our biggest challenge yet: the rebirth of our association.’ It has called for a debate among members about the association’s future ahead of its AGM at the Light + Building show in Frankfurt in April.

Meanwhile rival organisation, the International Association of Lighting Designers, appeared be benefitting from the turmoil at the PLDA. In London last night, the IALD celebrated its 1,000th member, Colin Ball of BDP (pictured). ‘We’re delighted to have someone of Colin’s stature join us at this milestone for the organisation,’ the IALD’s Emma Cogswell told the gathering.

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