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Keppie retrenchment to see closure of Aberdeen, Perth & Manchester offices

June 6 2016

Keppie retrenchment to see closure of Aberdeen, Perth & Manchester offices
In a surprise move Keppie Design are to close studios in Aberdeen, Perth & Manchester and consult on the future of 25 staff after posting a £528k pre-tax loss to 31 July 2015.

Blaming the recent dip in oil prices for the delay to a number of projects the practice is to withdraw from what had been a key target market in Manchester, whilst focussing work north of the border on its Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness studios – all of which will remain unaffected. Keppie's Belfast office closed last year.

A spokesperson for Keppie Design commented: "After careful consideration, we have chosen to restructure the business and are currently in consultation with 25 employees in Aberdeen, Manchester and Perth on the proposed closure of these offices.  This period of consultation started on Wednesday 1 June will last until Wednesday 15 June.

"It is important to highlight that Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness offices and staff will not be affected by this. It is also important to emphasise that this decision has been made to strengthen the business and allow us to move forward from an even more solid and more secure base. Keppie Design has a great heritage, a very talented team who are involved in lots of exciting projects, and have a bright future ahead. The proposal to close these three offices would dramatically reduce our overheads, allowing us to protect the business for the future and move forward from a position of increased stability."

Keppie Design currently employs 53 architects spread across seven UK offices and recently forged an alliance with Stride Treglown and Todd Architects.

Known as 431 Architecture this was a bid to tender for large-scale UK projects by pooling resources.


Jim Bobaloola
#1 Posted by Jim Bobaloola on 6 Jun 2016 at 15:49 PM
The empty office with no employees in Belfast will remain unaffected. Blah blah. Protecting the fat cats is the people's cost. Strategy to be admired?
#2 Posted by SJM on 6 Jun 2016 at 16:14 PM
You read the stuff which comes out of their PR machine on a weekly basis, including what is published on this forum and you think, wow, they must be doing well...,
And then someone publishes the truth!

You just can't trust what they tell people anymore.
I feel for their employees, those who have lost their jobs and all others who wonder who is next.
Michael O'Neill
#3 Posted by Michael O'Neill on 7 Jun 2016 at 14:09 PM
I don't know much about the British market sectors but these locations - apart from Manchester - look marginal. Manchester might be hard to break into or survive in, but surely its the one to play for?
#4 Posted by urbanrealm on 7 Jun 2016 at 14:17 PM
Hi Jim - I'm told that the Belfast office has in fact already been closed. It ceased trading last year.
#5 Posted by Willothewisp on 7 Jun 2016 at 19:25 PM
Michael - some of these offices have a long history, others don't. I don't think many people until recently (with the benefit of hindsight) would have called the Aberdeen market marginal!
#6 Posted by Terra on 8 Jun 2016 at 00:10 AM
Not sure when they started opening multiple offices but I'd say you should make sure you've already got decent contracts and contacts in a given area to be guaranteed of a future there before opening an office. Like, overextension is silly; you know? Speculating to accumulate?
#7 Posted by JBB on 8 Jun 2016 at 12:27 PM
I dont know about Manchester but I understood their Perth office to be doing pretty well. Sure, Aberdeen is quiet with the oil price but the city isnt closed for business - and I wonder what clients will think when the oil price recovers and Keppies want back in....

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