The impacts of Brexit on the UK architecture sector

Using an econometric model of trade, we found that even through UK architecture exports went primarily to non-EU destinations, all exports would be hit by a no-deal outcome through a loss of access to skills. 

Building the case

British architecture is a global success story. Architecture directly contributes £4.8 billion to the UK economy every year, with another billion a year embedded in the exports of the other industries it supports.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) asked Frontier to analyse the impact of Brexit on the economics of British architecture, and what we can expect for the economy as a whole.

Good foundations

Our study showed that £500 million was billed by UK architects to other countries. Unlike the rest of the services sector, the majority of British architecture exports go to countries outside the EU. So British architects can expect to benefit from trade deals with new partners, provided these deals are made quickly.

However, the architecture sector’s main asset is its global workforce – over two-thirds of its inputs are labour and one in four architects working in the UK are from elsewhere in the EU. The risk of losing talent is considerable.

The blueprint

As a result of our work, RIBA could recommend  eight policies for the government to support for the continued global success of UK architecture.

Read the full report here