UK-headquartered consulting engineer Arup is planning to lay off staff in London because of a slowdown in work following the UK’s 23rd June vote to leave the European Union.
The multi-disciplinary firm, which had a hand in designing some of the world’s most famous buildings, including Beijing’s National Aquatics Centre (pictured) and the Sydney Opera House, plans to cut up to 10% of staff at its London Buildings Division, which employs around 900 people.
Sources told newspaper The Sunday Times (paywall) that about 90 jobs would be lost in total, with final decisions made by the end of October.
Arup would seek to redeploy staff, including engineers, architects and project managers, where possible.
"We are seeing signs of delays in investment decisions, particularly in the commercial sector, as investors wait for clarity on Britain’s future relationship with the EU," Nigel Tonks, head of Arup’s Buildings London office, wrote in an email to staff last week, which was seen by the newspaper.
According to the newspaper, doubts hover over several major building projects in London following the vote for "Brexit". French conglomerate Axa is considering delaying the construction of a City skyscraper known as the Pinnacle, while Qatari Diar, the Middle Eastern developer of Chelsea Barracks in west London, has delayed part of that project.
The newspaper comments that Arup’s decision will be seen as an "ominous sign" for the construction industry, which was forecast to be among the worst-hit sectors by the decision to leave the EU.
Image: Arup has had a hand in designing some of the world’s most famous buildings, including Beijing’s National Aquatics Centre (Wikimedia Commons)
A point for information only. Ove Arup was also lead behind Sir Basil Spence in the design and construction of Coventry Cathedral circa 1952 onwards. His right hand man was Povl Ahm. The cathedral was constructed prior to the Sydney Opera House and was the beginning of a relationship between the two who both became involved with the Opera House. Coventry Cathedral is also an iconic building in its own right.
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