Grant Thornton latest consultancy to create jobs in Belfast

09 October 2018

The UK’s fifth largest auditing and advisory firm has become the latest consultancy to announce job creation plans in Belfast. Grant Thornton is set to employ almost 50 professionals for new consulting activities in Northern Ireland’s largest city.

The economy of Northern Ireland is struggling of late, with growth having stagnated over the past two years. With output continuing to fall, as the culmination of Brexit threatens to derail the rest of the UK, one expert even warned that Northern Ireland’s markets are on the brink of 'recessionary territory'.

CBI NI Director Angela McGowan explained, “A shrinking economy reduces much-needed revenues for our public services, limits opportunities for young people and sends out the wrong signal to foreign investors at a time when the global economy is in robust health, with a solid growth rate of 3.9%."

Grant Thornton latest consultancy to create jobs in Belfast

It has not been doom and gloom for all sectors of Northern Ireland’s business community however. Business is booming for a growing number of consultants looking to ply their trade in the six counties. Indeed, Big Four firm PwC recently reported that Northern Ireland represents its fastest growing UK region, with the professional services firm’s Belfast office doubling its headcount during the last year.

As the rest of the consulting industry bids to tap into this growth opportunity, presumably buoyed by clients both looking for new business techniques to overcome their poor output, and ways of insulating themselves from Brexit uncertainty, many firms have invested heavily in the region in recent months. Fellow Big Four competitor Deloitte aims to have increased its headcount in Belfast to 1,000 over the next year, while RSM looked to better profit from its Northern Ireland-residing wing by merging it fully with its larger UK business.

The UK Government also seems to believe that this push of consulting firms into Northern Ireland could revitalise the wider economy, as it has invested extensively in it. To that end, earlier in 2018, PA Consulting announced that it would create some 400 new positions, with backing of around £4 million in state grants coming from Invest NI. Now, financial advisory firm Grant Thornton has similarly announced it is creating 48 new jobs at its Belfast operation, with the support of Invest NI.

Grant Thornton told the British press that the move comes as it looks to start a range of new consultancy activities. The development will receive grants of £240,000 from Invest NI, in order to help the firm recruit change management experts, IT and cyber specialists and economic advisers.

According to Richard Gillan, Grant Thornton’s Partner in charge of its Belfast office, the announcement has been driven by heightened demand in Northern Ireland, with the firm having trebled its turnover over the past four years. He added, "More recently, we have witnessed a significant uplift in the provision of strategic consulting advice, including in relation to Brexit.”

Des Gartland from Invest NI called the development was a "high-value project." He explained, "This was a mobile project that could have been located elsewhere so we are pleased that our support was able to help secure the investment for Northern Ireland.”


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Two consultancies among UK’s best office breakout spaces

05 April 2019

A pair of Bristol-based consulting firms have been recognized for having among the UK’s best office break areas. People Source Consulting and Ashville were marked out for their vibrant and fun spaces, which feature table games, picnic areas, and even beer.

With competition for talent in the UK continuing to heat up – as the nation continues to enjoy its highest employment rate since the 1970s – firms have been upping their game on multiple fronts to help attract the cream of the crop. In order to successfully court the best candidates, companies are not only taking into account pay and benefits, but are also working to lure potential employees to their firms with the promise of innovative and vibrant work spaces.

In late 2018, employment website Glassdoor announced ten offices had been named the coolest places to work in the UK. Among those lauded for their work in enriching the working day of their employees was Capco – the only consultancy to make the grade.

Two consultancies among UK’s best office breakout spaces

Now,, a leading games room specialist based in the UK, has announced the ten offices it believes have made the cut for its inaugural Office Breakout of the Year competition. The contest has pitted a diverse range of companies against one another to be named the best office-based breakout space that the UK has to offer. Research from recently revealed that 65% of workers would consider switching employers for a better working environment, making the appearance of two consultancies on the list especially important for their recruitment ambitions.

People Source Consulting – a recruitment business from Bristol – hosts a brightly lit and vibrant space, complete with faux grass and picnic benches, along with a well-stocked beverage fridge – alcohol appears to be an option – as well as an array of tabletop games, including pool. Ashville, an asset management consultancy also based in Bristol, meanwhile boasts a break room decked out with table football, a table tennis court and even arcade machines.

Two consultancies among UK’s best office breakout spaces

The other eight finalists exhibit offerings including swinging hammocks, scooters and a bizarre and brilliant variety of other features. The other nominees are accessplanit – a software business from Lancaster; Digital 22 – a marketing and design agency from Clitheroe; Roc Search – a tech and engineering recruitment specialist from Reading; Sales-i – a provider of sales analytics software from Solihull; SEC Group – an office fit out company from Stevenage; SLG Brands – a portfolio of beauty brands with a head office in Cheltenham; Zest Digital – a digital marketing agency from Oxford; and 16i – a digital design agency also from Cheltenham.

Andy Beresford, MD of, said, “According to recent reports, the UK is currently seeing record levels of employment, and while that might be a great statistic, the knock-on effect is that it’s becoming harder and harder to recruit top talent… Being named as a finalist gives those shortlisted businesses the opportunity to showcase how they go about delivering a better working environment for their employees, with some top effort evidently involved judging by what we’ve seen.”