As the UK slides into a recession, this week the European Union’s executive arm warned that Britain will be one of the hardest hit of its member states during 2009.
The noise from Brussels is that the UK economy will continue to contract over the rest of 2008, and is unlikely to start expanding again until 2010. Only Latvia and Estonia are forecast to perform worse than the UK.
Against this gloomy backdrop, the AJ has searched out the glimmers of hope, the clients that could help protect your practice from the tough times ahead.
The group is a mixed bag of companies and individuals. The AJ has spoken to the likes of the London Diocesan Board for Schools, which is calling for architects to join its framework panel and help deliver nearly 150 voluntary-aided schools in London alone, with contract values of £1.5 million to £20 million.
Hotel brand Travelodge and pub chain JD Wetherspoon are also looking for practices as they continue to snap up cheaper sites and expand their businesses.
Others include the healthcare sector, private housing clients, and, of course, the yet-to-be-formed Homes and Communities Agency.
There is no doubt that the next 12-18 months will be hard, but there is work out there, and people are still building.