Major restructuring announced that will see greater collaboration with sister firm Norr

Architect Archial is planning to make up to 15% of its workforce redundant as part of a major restructuring, it confirmed today.

The firm, which went into administration in 2010 before being rescued by Canadian business Ingenium, said it had begun a consultation with those affected.

Building reported last October that Archial employed 236 staff including 117 architects across 12 UK offices.

According to these figures, up to 35 posts could be lost under the latest round of redundancies, which follows another round of cuts last year.

Archial chief executive Chris Littlemore said the firm was aiming to emulate Canadian sister practice Norr in terms of company structure in the face of what he called “another challenging year” to come in 2012.

“The proposed restructure is part and parcel of our continuous review of our operations to ensure that we always achieve the optimal balance between resources and workload and, at the same time, that we remain in a position to put our best foot forward when the recovery comes,” he said.

“To this end, our proposals aim to maintain and protect Archial’s geographical spread of offices in key locations throughout the country - which we consider to be of considerable benefit to our UK clients - while enabling more streamlined project delivery for both UK based and international work.

“This programme has been supported by a significant investment in new technology to provide robust management and technical tools, designed to enhance collaboration across all UK office, as well as with Norr’s international division.

“Following the successful implementation of a sector-based, team approach over the last year, we are now also considering adopting the methodology used elsewhere across the globe by our sister company Norr. This would involve the creation of a small number of large ‘delivery studios’ servicing major projects, complemented by a multitude of regional studios. 

“This is a tried and tested model employed by Norr and, as we find ourselves collaborating increasingly closely with them on range of overseas projects, and in a variety of sectors, it makes eminent sense that we should consider adapting our working methods to reflect this relationship – one which we see going from strength to strength over the months and years to come.”

Projects that Archial and Norr are collaborating on include a significant transport project in Canada and a major retail complex in a the Middle East.