The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published its 2019 Business Benchmarking Report. The annual report tracks UK architects' turnover and salaries, and identifies global growth areas for the export of UK architecture expertise. Drawn from data provided by RIBA's Chartered Practices, the Business Benchmarking Survey has been conducted since 2012, providing a record of trends over time.
This year's report shows a resilient architectural profession directly contributing £3.6bn to the UK economy and flourishing overseas. Revenues are up by 13% in the last 12 months and have cumulatively more than doubled since 2012. The overall value of international (non-UK) work has increased since 2018 by 22% to £625m.
Three years after the UK's referendum on leaving the EU, the value of revenue from work in the EU is now the highest it has ever been, growing by 73% since 2015. The EU is the most important source of international work for small and medium-sized architecture practices.
Asia is the most valuable source of work outside of the UK for Chartered Practices overall, accounting for 28%, and is the fastest growing source of international revenue, growing from £77 million to £177 million worth of work since 2015. Work from projects in the Middle East has risen to £131 million, from £104 million last year.
"The 2019 RIBA Business Benchmarking report illustrates unabated demand for UK architects internationally," commented Alan Vallance, RIBA CEO. "Significant increases in work in Asia, the Middle East and Europe clearly indicate the value of British expertise and the importance of further developing relationships in these growing markets. For practices relying solely on UK income, political uncertainty is a continuing worry. Whoever forms the next government must set out a comprehensive vision that enables the architecture profession to continue to thrive in the EU and beyond.
"As a global professional body, the RIBA sets standards and drives excellence in architecture all over the world. We assist architects, wherever they live or work, and are expanding our international network to be able to provide even more tailored support in important markets, including China and the Middle East."