Number of EU architects thinking of leaving UK jumps by half

Ben Derbyshire

Increasing numbers of architects are reporting stalled or cancelled projects with a 50% hike in the proportion of EU professionals thinking of leaving the country, according to the findings of Riba’s latest industry analysis on the impacts of Brexit.

It said 68% of architects have had projects placed on hold while 43% said they have had jobs cancelled since the EU referendum. The figures were 61% and 36% respectively in last year’s survey, published in February 2017.

Riba said 74% of respondents to the 2018 research said they were concerned Brexit would have a negative impact on the built environment, up from 60% last year.

And the proportion of architects from other EU nations who said they were considering leaving this country was now 60%, up from 40% last year.

Riba president Ben Derbyshire said the findings reflected the degree of uncertainty that still remained about the impact of Brexit, barely 12 months before the UK’s two-year Article 50 notice-to-quit period ends.

“2018 is a critical year for the UK and whilst our architect members are adaptable and creative, the results from our survey show increasing uncertainty amongst the profession,” he said.

Derbyshire (pictured) added: “The UK must maintain and strengthen its role as a global centre for architecture, responsible for creating innovative and inspiring buildings and communities in the UK and across the world.

“But to do this we need the right agreements and conditions in place to ensure that the UK continues to be a global facing nation and an attractive place to live, work and invest.”

With some of the largest London practices understood to have EU architect headcounts of around 50%, Riba said it was essential to have continued mutual recognition of architects’ professional qualifications with the EU alongside any new mutual recognition agreements for architects in markets such as the US, Canada and Australia.