The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) responds to the Spring Statement in which the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, gave an update on the UK economy.
Speaking today, RIBA President Ben Derbyshire said:
“We welcome positive news on the British economy, but to restore business confidence and secure long-term investment we urgently need the Government to address growing uncertainty about what Brexit will mean for architects and architecture in the UK.”
“Despite much discussion in the right direction, the Government has yet again failed to address many of the questions that remain unanswered. Will our immigration system make it easy for the UK to attract and retain skilled architects from around the world? Will our world-class universities remain attractive to international students? Will the UK prioritise developing new mutual recognition arrangements with target markets? Will the UK continue to play a leading role in setting the standards for our industry by maintaining our membership of CEN and CENELEC?”
“Businesses need time to plan for the future, and without immediate clarity, we risk causing irreversible harm to the UK’s reputation as a global hub for architecture and a great place to live and work. Time is running out, architects and our partners in the construction sector need urgent answers from the Government.”
“Looking to the future, the Government needs to do much more to address the structural challenges to our economy. In particular we need to continue increasing investment in housing and ensure that this money is well spent. It beggars belief that over £800 million designated for affordable housing was returned to the government unspent. There is a huge shortage of affordable, high quality homes and the system is clearly not working if we find ourselves unable to spend even the limited amounts of money that are allocated.”