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String of insolvencies hit north west

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August 19 2008

A glut of inner city apartments across the north west has contributed to a stagnation in new build homes, with serious ramifications for developers and by extension architects.

In the last quarter three Manchester based practices, Arca, Leach Rhodes Walker and AGP have all been declared insolvent.  The speed of these collapses has shocked onlookers, although the practices may continue to trade after restructuring and management buy outs.

Manchester Society of Architects vice president Justin O’Brien said: “People had assumed that cash flows were relatively OK, and that perhaps in the longer term there might be some reducing of staff, but not that they’d be going bust this quickly.”

Prolific Mancunian architect Ian Simpson claims many smaller practices are doomed: “There is still much greater value in the south of England than the north.  In northern cities, work will come to a standstill in many places.  If you are solely reliant on commercial residential business, there is a risk of going out of business.

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