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Call for UK Government to invest in global exports after Brexit

Unlock the UK’s export potential to maintain global success

10 May 2018

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has called on the Government to create a new approach to trade support that will help the architecture sector continue to thrive after Brexit.

With one in five architects looking to expand internationally but most practices working only in the UK, a new approach to trade is vital if the UK wishes to harness the untapped export potential of leading global services like architecture.

The Institute has made ten recommendations to Government that will boost UK exports and deliver sustainable growth. These include:

  • Retain mutual recognition of professional qualifications with the EU and pursue new mutual recognition agreements with priority countries including the USA, Australia and Canada. This will ensure that the sector can recruit and retain the best talent
  • A long-term, cross-government export strategy to promote British expertise in architectural services and the built environment
  • Export finance on more attractive terms for architectural practices
  • More accessible and transparent promotion of Government trade support to small practices
  • More in-country support with dispute resolution, non-payment and regulatory challenges

Many of the UK’s largest architecture practices already export their services overseas. The new measures would create the right circumstances for small to medium sized practices to seek international opportunities. Additionally, the RIBA’s recent Brexit survey found that one in five architects would like to expand internationally in response to Brexit. The Institute is asking the Government to respond to this to ensure the sector can continue to grow and unlock its true export potential.

RIBA President Ben Derbyshire says:

“If the UK is to retain its role as a global centre for architecture, the Government needs to help by supporting the sector to export its services. The UK’s leading role as exporters of architectural services can be developed in support of the post Brexit economy if Government follows the recommendations set out by the RIBA. This includes guaranteeing mutual recognition of professional qualifications with the EU and new agreements with other countries.

We must continue to be a global facing nation if we are to benefit from Brexit; our economy and our leading industries depend on it.”

RIBA Chief Executive Alan Vallance says:

“British architects have been the creative force behind inspiring, incredible buildings all over the world. Many more RIBA member architects would like to do business overseas, but tell us that the barriers they face can be too great. Support from Government to take the first steps to international expansion will empower practices of all sizes to work internationally, support the sector to expand and thrive internationally and boost its vital contribution to the UK economy.”


Notes to editors

1. To download a copy of the RIBA’s Policy Note: ‘Boosting the UK’s architectural exports’ go to:

2. For further press information contact Elise Neve +44 (0)20 7307 3761

3. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow us on Twitter for regular RIBA updates

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