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Recession over? Fewer projects left on the shelf

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A monthly boost in recruitment and a drop in stalled schemes fuels optimism for end of recession

The number of projects shelved each month is on the decrease for the first time in three months, prompting hope among architects about the end of the recession.

According to the latest data from industry tracker Glenigan, the number of UK projects worth less than £100 million mothballed has fallen to 735, down from a peak of 756 last month.

Watkins Gray International’s director of business development and marketing, Richard Nelson, said the practice had noticed fewer schemes being frozen. He added: ‘A couple of projects we are working on have come off hold in the last few months.’

Though the figures are still above the April low point, when just 591 schemes were put on hold, the statistics mirror RIBA’s latest Future Trends Survey, which found architects’ optimism to be on the rise.
RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson said: ‘The autumn period will be critical in revealing whether there is a real sustainable increase in architects’ workloads.’

Less than a fifth questioned by RIBA expected a decrease in work, compared with 21 per cent in June. Firms are also more confident about taking on further staff, with 11 per cent expecting increases in staff levels over the next three months.

Alastair Rigden, executive search consultant at Solution Recruitment, confirmed that the number of practices recruiting has increased over the last month. ‘Very rarely do we now hear “redundancy” when we speak with employers and an improvement in live project numbers will mean more job opportunities,’ he said. ‘Although I believe it will initially be contract work before employers become more confident about the long term.’

(Read Rigden’s comments about getting a jump on the job market by clicking here)

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