QUO CEO David Keen: “We need to take the ‘hotels’ out of hospitality”
The hospitality space in the United Kingdom is in a bit of a peculiar position.
In recent years, demand for hotels there—especially in urban centers like London—has grown quite a bit. In order to meet it, so too have the number of hotel properties under development in construction project pipelines. These projects, of course, require the participation of architects, contractors and others. The future of the residential status of many of those types, however, has been put in the questions by Brexit, which will soon see the U.K. departing from the European Union.
There is, however, a glimmer of hope for hotel companies and investors looking to work with the broad group of architects who are not U.K. citizens. The country has recently announced that architects who demonstrate exceptional talent or promise will be given special visas to both live and work within the U.K. following Brexit. This is, without a doubt, good news for the many hospitality companies with plans to expand in markets like London.
From 10 January 2019, qualifying architects will be able to apply for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visas for a cost of £608, which could grant them up to five years in the UK. This move is aimed at making it easier for European architects with “outstanding talent” to work in the UK once it is no longer part of the European Union.
The United Kingdom’s Home Office worked with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Arts Council England (ACE) to develop the bespoke immigration route for architects. Applicants have two ways to qualify for the offering. The exceptional talent exception will be made for those architects who can prove they are internationally-recognized in their field. Things like industry awards will help here, and, it is safe to say, many of the most recognized architects in the hospitality field are likely to have that.
The exceptional promise visa, meanwhile, will be reserved for architects who demonstrate potential to eventually become leaders in their field. The first group will be eligible for residency after three years while the second will require five.
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