The UK contract cleaning market is estimated to have grown in value by 1.5% in 2014, as the market returned to growth following 2 consecutive years of decline in 2012 and 2013. Despite the recent contractions in market value, the contract cleaning market has performed relatively strongly in recent years, remaining a growth market during the period of economic recession and reduced business expenditure.
The recent market decline is attributable primarily to the impact of public-sector spending cuts under the Coalition Government’s austerity programme, which have led to reduced departmental budgets and falling expenditure in local government. Private demand for cleaning, in comparison, is estimated to have grown since the economic recession in 2009 and the turbulent period immediately after.
Cleaning contracts in the UK continue to be dominated by the major facilities management (FM) firms. This sector has seen significant growth over the last few decades, with significant demand for simple, bespoke multi-service contracts — which can range from cleaning, grounds maintenance and landscaping, through to energy management and security — from a single provider. As these firms have grown, specialist cleaning service providers have struggled, particularly following the downward pressure on contract prices as competition for contracts intensified during the recessionary period.
Other trends affecting the market include issues relating to the environment and sustainability. With increasing...