Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Architects’ confidence plunges in the north of England

Manchester image by mike peel
  • 1 Comment

Architects’ confidence over future workloads in the ‘previously upbeat’ north of England has dropped significantly, according to research by the RIBA.

Firms in northern regions remained marginally more positive than their southern counterparts with a score of +12 on the institute’s September Future Trends Workload Index. But this was down sharply from +41 the prior month.

Practices in the South registered a balance of +11 on the September index. This was up from +5 in August, representing an increase in the proportion expecting an increase in work over the following quarter.

RIBA executive director members Adrian Dobson said: ‘In recent months practices in the north of England and the Midlands and East Anglia have been noticeably more upbeat than those in London and the south of England, but this north-south difference has now started to narrow considerably.’

Practices with more than 50 members of staff were by far the most positive in September. They returned a workload balance figure of +50 compared to that of +6 for businesses with 10 or fewer employees and +4 for those in between.

Public sector and community work remained in negative territory for future expected workloads, while commercial projects fell from +9 to -2. Private housing forecasts remained positive.

Four in five practices surveyed expected to keep their staff numbers the same over the next three months, with slightly more of the others predicting a rise in headcount than a drop. Large practices remain far more confident about their ability to maintain and increase staffing levels than smaller ones.

Practices in Scotland were the most upbeat about taking on more staff, posting a balance figure of +20. In London it was +9 but in the north of England the figure fell to -3.

Dobson added: ‘A significant number of practices highlight a growing hesitancy on the part of clients to allow projects to proceed to construction. Many cite the uncertain conditions created by Brexit as the dominant factor causing clients to stall projects.’

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Paul Chappell

    Although the latest figures from the Future Trends Survey appear more gloomy, recent conversations with our clients have been remarkably positive about 2018 and workload is looking very strong for the next few months. The one big negative, however, is the fee levels firms often feel they need to go to in order to gain new projects.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs

AJ Jobs