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Futre trends: Practices see increased workload on horizon

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Workload predictions among architects have hit a six-month high, according to the latest RIBA Future Trends survey

The figures reveal that the number of practices expecting work to increase reached 26 per cent in December, with just 27 per cent expecting a fall in workloads (down on 36 per cent in November).

RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson said the figures showed a north-south divide with the improvements being driven by the higher confidence among firms in London and southern England.

He said: ‘The picture throughout the rest of the UK is somewhat different with practices in other regions and nations predicting that overall workloads will decline in the next quarter.’

Practices were also slightly more confident about the number of architects staying on their books, with 15 per cent predicting staff levels to fall compared with 17 per cent in November.

The results revealed that the private housing and commercial sectors have improved and that architects are slightly more confident that public sector work will remain steady.

In December 7 per cent predicted an increase in public sector work, compared with 6 per cent during the previous month. Meanwhile, studios expecting a drop fell from 37 per cent in November to 35 per cent last month.

Dobson said: ‘There remains evidence of spare capacity in the profession at present, with an inevitable impact on competition for work.’

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