London’s architecture sector grew by an average of 7.7 per cent a year between 2009 and 2016 – outstripping the UK and London economies – according to new research by the Greater London Authority
Its report, London’s Architectural Sector, was released at property fair MIPIM in Cannes today.
It found that 15,000 architects were employed in the sector in the capital in 2016, across 4,515 workplaces.
The sector produced £1.9 billion of gross value added (GVA) that year, in 2015 prices, making it slightly larger than the courier industry and only marginally smaller than the motor trade.
Architecture GVA was up from £1.1 billion in 2009, representing an average annual rate of real growth of 7.7 per cent.
London Festival of Architecture director Tamsie Thomson said: ‘It’s a global success story that’s heavily reliant on global talent – and while the figures are heartening they’re also a reminder of what could be at risk if Brexit negotiations are badly handled.’
Behind the headline figures, however, the report painted a picture of a sector that has work to do in terms of increasing racial diversity.
It found that only around 16 per cent of all architecture and engineering jobs in London were held by black and ethnic minority people in 2016, compared with 31 per cent across all sectors.
Deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills Jules Pipe said the figure highlighted ‘the fact that more needs to be done to ensure the sector reflects the diversity of our great city’.
The study, put together by the Greater London Authority’s economics team in partnership with the London Festival of Architecture, revealed that 37 per cent of architect jobs in the capital were held by women, compared with 31 per cent nationwide.
Graph for mary
It also painted a portrait of an overwhelmingly young profession, with two in five architects in London aged between 16 and 34.
About a quarter of all architecture jobs in London in 2016 were held by EU nationals from outside the UK.
Bob Kerslake, chair of Peabody housing association, this week warned the architecture profession not to wait for ministers to protect it from the impacts of Brexit.