According to new RIBA research, more than half of architecture practices have made no preparations at all for a no-deal Brexit. Some 57% of firms have made no plans of any sort and only 5% of them are intending to do so. A further third say they have done very little planning, according to the findings of the RIBA’s latest monthly Future Trends survey.
Only 7% claim to have made preparations across all areas where disruption is expected, despite government advice to prepare for Britain’s potential departure from the EU without a deal. The survey also returned a depressing picture of architects’ confidence, with the workload index for September dropping to its lowest level for three years. It is the fourth time this index, which predicts future workloads, has fallen into negative territory since 2013.
Practices in London and the south of England continued to be the most pessimistic about future workloads, with London dropping 7 points to -15 and the south of England returning a figure of -8. Workload predictions in the north of England dropped significantly from +29 to +6. And confidence in the Midlands and East Anglia also fell. Wales and the west were the only regions where sentiment improved, rising from -15 to 0. Confidence in small practices (10 staff or fewer) dropped deeper into negative territory. Larger practices were more positive. However, the Future Trends staffing index rose from 0 to +3 in September, suggesting practices still intend to recruit in the next three months.
Editor of Plan Magazine