UK consulting industry sees double-digit growth – total revenues now above £14 billion

New research from the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) points to the UK consulting market enjoying double-digit growth for 2021, hitting revenues of more than £14 billion. The sensible money seems also to be on similar levels of growth for 2022 as the recovery from the effects of Covid-19, supply chain issues and wider concerns builds momentum.

The MCA’s annual research piece, used to health-check the UK’s consulting space, is much anticipated and generally used as an accurate ‘state of the union’ measuring tool for the market. After a pandemic and historic recession many feared the worst, so these latest results have been greeted with a sense of relief and optimism. Earlier MCA estimates at the height of the pandemic cautiously suggested steady growth but now these latest figures indicate 16% cross-sector growth and revenues of around £14.5 billion.

It seems that helping troubled clients and sectors navigate their way out of these difficult moments has helped foster greater trust and positivity towards the advisory space – thus having a big impact on revenue streams too. So, while the view among many that consulting can be hawkish and self-serving might often have some merit, it does appear that now more than ever the role of a consultancy has indeed been much-needed and highly valued.

Unsurprisingly, the largest growth areas in 2021 were digital technology, cost reduction and Covid-19 response services, but while digital is of course going nowhere, shifting priorities and demands in 2022 mean areas such as sustainability, supply chain risks and cultural change will become ever-growing areas.

- by Tariq Siraj

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