WSP tops 2023's contracts league table

Image by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

More than £52bn of projects have been awarded to the top 50 civil engineering consultancies in the last 12 months.

New data from Barbour ABI has revealed the firms who are performing the best when it comes to contract awards, with just over 1,400 projects secured in 2023.

Top of the list is WSP, with 96 projects totalling nearly £7.5bn in value. 

Curtins Consulting, Arup, Walsh Group and Ramboll UK make up the rest of the top five.

Between them, they are responsible for 37% of the work awarded in the last year.

The Top 50 Consultancies League Table has been developed in partnership with the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) and UK Construction Week 2024 and shows the volume of work being undertaken by these firms.

ACE CEO Kate Jennings says this underlays the importance of their work.

“At the heart of the UK's economy lies the expertise and innovation of consultancy and engineering services,” she explained. “The industry serves as the backbone of economic growth.

“By collaborating in sectors spanning all aspects of infrastructure from energy, water, health and construction more broadly, our members facilitate the development of transformative projects and initiatives that drive productivity, create jobs, and stimulate investment.

“It’s great to see so many of our members, and the wider sector, celebrated in this new publication.”

David Buckley, managing director at Barbour ABI, said the information would be helpful to those further down the supply chain who want to be involved in these major projects.

“The UK construction industry is a large, fragmented one united through its determination to create a built environment that is better, safer, and fit for future purpose,” he said. 

“Whilst such levels of fragmentation can prevent systemic change, it is through collaboration that we achieve innovation and move the industry forward.

“We are delighted to partner with ACE in utilising our project intelligence to shine a light on such businesses providing services that galvanise the supply chain to innovate more quickly and at scale.”

Mark Naysmith, WSP president and CEO for EMEIA, said the company was "delighted" to have been named at the top of Barbour ABI’s Top 50 Consultancies League Table.

“It positively reflects our focus on local and national clients and markets, together with the high quality of the work our people do in delivering excellence," he said. 

“We thrive on collaboration and innovation, so to be recognised at the top of the list of consultancies is a fantastic accolade.

"WSP has continued to grow and diversify its expertise to align with our client’s needs and market trends, which has enabled us to be commissioned to some really exciting projects, including recently as one of National Grid’s industry partners for the Great Grid Upgrade. 

“Work such as this, in collaboration with others in the industry, is crucial to achieving the critical infrastructure required to drive the country towards a resilient, more sustainable future.”

The data follows a recent update from Barbour ABI following the publication of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority. 

In it, the construction data analysts found that there had been a major shift in the way that large infrastructure projects are now being funded.

In 2019 public spending made up 67% of infrastructure projects. However, in 2023 this figure was just 36%. 

And, in certain segments of the market, public funding makes up the majority – for example, 92% of energy projects in the NCIP are listed as privately funded.

Click here to read the full Top 50.

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