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BT Group contributes £1.3bn to South West economy

BT Group is responsible for generating £1 in every £95 produced in the South West’s economy, according to an independent report published today.

‘The Economic Impact of BT Group plc in the UK’ report, by Hatch Regeneris, shows that the communications company generated a £1.3 billion contribution – expressed as “Gross Value Added” (GVA)* – to the South West economy during the 2017/18 financial year.

The report estimates that the equivalent of 14,770 full-time jobs in the South West are supported through BT’s direct employment, its spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of its employees.

BT Group directly employs 7,103 people in the South West, with a further 779 employed as contractors. It’s estimated that BT Group supports one in every 110 employees working in the South West’s private sector, reinforcing its position as one of the region’s leading employers.

The Group also spent nearly £211 million with suppliers based in the South West.

Across the UK, BT Group directly employed 94,800 people (FTE) and supported an estimated total of 290,000 full-time jobs. It also generated, in total, almost £23bn (£22.8bn) to the UK economy.

BT is also one of the highest spenders on research and development in the UK and works with several universities in the region on research activities covering coding, cyber security, 5G and advanced networking.

Tim Fanning, Director at Hatch Regeneris, said: “Our analysis underlines how vast BT Group’s contribution is to the UK economy, particularly across the nations and regions.

“BT Group is almost unique in contributing to the economies of virtually every community across the UK, supporting significant levels of GVA spend and employment opportunities per region.”

The report from Hatch Regeneris comes in addition to a recent report by PWC1 which highlighted that BT Group is the 5thhighest tax contributor in the UK among FTSE 100 companies, and the highest contributor among non-financial companies. The PWC report also identified BT as the largest capital expenditure investor in the UK.

Paul Coles, BT Group Regional Director for the South West, said: “I am proud of the role BT plays in the South West. Not only does BT connect friends, families and businesses across the UK, but we also have a vital impact on the South West’s economy.

“BT is one of the region’s largest private sector employers and investors. Our employees also give thousands of hours to volunteering each year. Our investments, including the latest 5G mobile technology through our mobile network EE, will ensure the UK continues to be one of the world’s best-connected economies.

Tim Jones, Chairman of South West Business Council, said: “The South West Business Council recognises the huge significance of BT, both as a major employer in the South West, and also the impact the company has on the economy and jobs. In these uncertain times, it is encouraging to see that this significant presence in the region will continue. This will not only mean a boost to the local economy, but also to a wide range of high level skills, a more productive workforce and higher quality jobs. Importantly, this will also mean a boost in the recruitment of apprentices and graduates.

“The value of investment in improved connectivity is vital for the growth of our region. Access to the fastest networks and latest technology will be a major advantage for our businesses. This investment will help lead to not only improved economic wellbeing, but to widespread benefits for many of our local communities.”

The report includes the contribution of all parts of BT Group, including Openreach, mobile network provider EE and BT’s Consumer and Enterprise divisions.

The report highlights that, across the South West in 2017/18, BT Group:

Directly employed a total of 7,880 people (FTE, including contractors) and supported an estimated 14,770 full-time jobs

Spent £211 million with suppliers based in the South West

Generated £1.3bn (£1,310 million) total GVA impact (including indirect and induced effects)

Directly employed 1 in every 210 employees in the private sector across the South West, and 1 in every 10 in the IT and Communications sectors

Supported £1 in every £95 of GVA in the South West’s economy and 1 in every 110 employees working in the South West’s private sector.

Across the UK in 2017/18, BT Group:

Directly employed 94,800 people (FTE) and supported an estimated total of 290,000 full-time jobs

Employees committed more than 37,000 volunteering days to worthy causes

Spent £510 million on research and development, making it one of the UK’s top investors in innovation

The full report is available at:

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