Downturn continues for consultants

28th October 2011

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  • Auditing ,
  • Management ,
  • Skills



The UK's environmental consultancy sector declined for the second consecutive year during 2010, with the market shrinking by £113 million, resulting in 1,000 job losses.

Despite the UK’s economy stabilising last year with a growth of 0.2%, the environmental consultancy market in the UK contracted by 8.4% as the sector was hit particularly hard by cuts in public sector spending.

According to figures release by market research firm Environmental Analyst, spending by the public sector on consultancy services fell by £79 million, while revenue from the private sector dropped by £34 million.

“Consultants are often one of the first to benefit under economic prosperity, but also likely to be one of the first to suffer under economic austerity,” said the report’s co-author Stuart Foxon.

“Unlike 2009, in 2010 it became apparent that a reliance on public sector projects would hit the sector hard, beyond the general downturn caused by the wider economic conditions.”

The figures reveal that despite a 12% decline, environmental impact assessment services remain the top income generator for consultants, followed by contaminated land consultancy projects – which fell by 3.4%, much less than in 2009 when the dramatic decline in house-building saw revenues drop by 20%.

Environmental Analyst’s annual examination of the market also reveals that consultants’ turnover from climate change and energy services overtook that from waste management services for the first time.

On a more positive note, the report concludes that the sector will return to growth in this year, with Environmental Analyst predicting a 0.5% increase in turnover.


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