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Highest number of architects ever on ARB register

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The Architects Registration Board (ARB) registered 2,279 architects in 2015 – the largest annual increase since the register was created in 1997

According to the ARB’s recently published annual report, the register stood at 36,678 at the end of December last year - up from 35,157 in 2014 - meaning the UK has more registered architects than ever before.

As of today (19 July) the ARB told the AJ that the number of registered was even higher, 37,989.

However, the proportion of women architects registered remained static at 25 per cent – the same percentage as last year. European admissions also increased to 1,072 during the year – representing 47 per cent of new admissions.

The annual report also shows that the ARB’s operating income rose to £4.4 million from £4.1 million the year before (2014). Based on the architecture watchdog’s total annual expenditure of £3.4 million, the board racked up a surplus of £1.05 million in 2015.

Karen Holmes, ARB registrar and chief executive, said: ‘Demand for our services has increased in all areas of our work and our on-going investment in technology has enabled us to undertake our role efficiently and effectively, at the same time as keeping costs down to a minimum.’

These members used the freedom of movement provided under the European Union professional qualification directive, incorporated into UK law and now potentially under threat following the EU referendum result.

The board’s annual report, also published this week, shows that legal expenses and professional charges spent on regulation fell slightly from £687,192 to £682,652.

The number of prosecutions for misuse of title rose from two in 2014, to nine in 2015.

In January, a court ordered a company to pay £10,000 in fines and costs for misusing the title architect, the biggest penalty ever for the offence.

However, the overall income from penalties and sundry receipts fell from £50,493 in 2014 to £37,898 last year.

At the end of this month Beatrice Fraenkel, the outgoing chair of the ARB, will hand over to Peter Coe for the next year.

She said: ‘This report demonstrates ARB’s effectiveness as a regulator, and I have no doubt that the organisation will continue to deliver on its remit and adapt to any changes that may arise as a result of the government’s periodic review.’

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