Growth slows in contaminated land sector

Revenue for contaminated land work slowed in 2008 despite the industry as a whole faring well in the economic downturn, according to a new report by Environment Analyst.

The research showed the UK environmental consultancy sector grew by 9% in 2008 to reach a turnover of £1.46bn, but a lot of this was due to projects planned for the first half of the year.

As the financial crisis emerged the biggest single earner of the industry, contaminated land, was hit the worse as trade virtually ‘ground to a halt.’

Half of the environmental consultancies surveyed for the report said cash from contaminated land work at the time of the survey was down.

Liz Trew, author or the report, said revenue was steady due to projects completed in the first half of the year – but is set to fall sharply this year.

She said: “The survey results confirm that contaminated land, the biggest single revenue stream for environmental consultancies has taken the biggest hit from the economic downturn of all the core service areas.

“Around half of firms were experiencing contracting revenues from contaminated land work at the time of the survey.

“Growth in contaminated and project income has slowed from a healthy 12% in 2007 to a moderate 7% last year.

“It is forecast to decline during 2009 as brownfield development in the commercial sector has effectively ground to a halt in many areas.”

Luke Walsh

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