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Architecture Projects Stalling as Brexit nears

Several industries are facing uncertain times because of  Brexit and architects are just one group that are already seeing the impact.

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Many firms across the construction industry are delaying projects in favour of waiting to see how the economy starts performing after we actually leave the EU and who is voted as the next PM.  Several of the UK’s most-respected architecture firms are having to let staff go as a result of projects falling through or being delayed at the least, all as a result of the current uncertainty.  Luckily we have some very strong firms out there like Cotswold Machinery who provide Tapping Machines which are almost the base of any industries equipment needs.

Reducing Headcount

For many firms, their staff are the most important asset to the business, so the decision to cut numbers will not be taken lightly. Some firms are finding a full-time presence is too risky and are closing offices rather than fold the business completely.

The fragile state of the industry covers all areas, from housing to fabric architecture, and no one is immune from needing to tighten up.

Recession Forecast

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has suggested that the UK construction industry was already facing another recession even before the EU referendum vote, and the Brexit result has just compounded the situation, so fewer house and tensile fabric structure designs are required.

The industry had been declining – 0.4% in April, May and June – despite an overall growth of the economy in the UK. Activity is now declining at its quickest rate in seven years, with a weak outlook. A similar pattern emerged prior to the 2008 global recession in that there was widespread job-cutting in construction and architecture across UK businesses.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has some useful advice in its “Brexit Briefing” calling for various conditions to be implemented in light of the result to protect the UK industry before firms have to take more drastic action.

The construction industry, and architects, can often be a good barometer of the economy, and businesses often find themselves at the front end of slowdowns. Many architecture firms are looking to diversify their services to reduce the impact of this sort of downturn.

Ultimately, time will tell what happens post-Brexit, and there is still so much uncertainty surrounding the outcomes. Formal negotiations have not yet been triggered, which might prolong the uncertainty.

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