Global firm’s London office confirms it has made five staff redundant and points to effect of EU referendum and mayoral elections
Leading international architect Farrells has confirmed it has made a handful of redundancies at its London office in the face of ‘economic and political uncertainty’ in the UK.
The practice, led by Terry Farrell, said it had laid off five staff in recent weeks because of a ‘pause’ on a number of projects related to the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union and the mayoral election in London, which took place yesterday (5 May).
AJ understands that the affected staff were at various levels of seniority and that a further three employees have left the firm and not been replaced due to the slowdown. However, the practice said it was confident that projects put on hold would be reactivated later this year and pointed to ‘significant business opportunities’ for the rest of 2016.
A Farrells spokesperson said: ‘Towards the end of 2015 a number of our projects in the capital paused in the face of economic and political uncertainty, chiefly driven by the London Mayoral elections and the outcome of the EU referendum.
’While largely sustaining our cost base throughout the intervening period, nevertheless we have taken the opportunity to restructure our skills base, leading to a small number of redundancies. We look forward with confidence to those delayed projects re-commencing this summer.
‘Furthermore, our international position as thought leaders, visionaries and large scale master-planners, and our increasing strides to enhance our profile and reputation as architects to match that of our master-planning, is producing significant and attractive new business opportunities for the remainder of 2016 and beyond.’
As AJ reported last month in its analysis on Brexit, a recent study by investment bank Goldman Sachs claimed that the share price of property developers such as Great Portland Estates, British Land, Hammerson and Land Securities were down around 8 per cent versus the market since the beginning of the year due to the market ‘pricing-in the significant risk of Brexit’.
Former RIBA president Jack Pringle, managing director and principal at Perkins + Will, also said that ‘two or three’ of its London clients had said they would cancel projects if the UK exits the EU.