Business Briefing: BT Group contributes £2.7bn to East of England economy

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BT Group is responsible for generating £1 in every £55 produced in the East of England’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 £2.7 billion contribution – expressed as “Gross Value Added” (GVA)* – to the East of England economy during the 2017/18 financial year.

The report estimates that the equivalent of 47,200 full-time jobs in the East of England are supported through BT’s direct employment, its spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of its employees.

BT Group directly employs 11,700 people in the East of England, with a further 678 employed as contractors. It’s estimated that BT Group supports one in every 40 employees working in the East of England’s private sector, reinforcing its position as one of the region’s leading employers.

The Group also spent nearly £1bn (£993m) with suppliers based in the East of England.

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’s main research facility is located at Adastral Park – close to Martlesham in Suffolk – which employs more than 3,000 people.

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 5th highest 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.

Giles Ellerton, Regional Director, BT Group, Midlands and East Anglia, said: “Few companies play as important a role in the East of England as BT Group. Not only does BT connect friends, families and businesses across the UK, but we also put premium fuel in the tank of the nation’s economy. The report shows that BT generates £1 in every £55 of wealth in the East of England.

“We’re proud to be one of the region’s largest private sector employers and investors. 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. Information and communications technology remains one of three core industrial sectors across East Anglia thanks to our Global Research and Development HQ in Martlesham.

“With more than 12,000 people directly employed in the region, spending their salaries in local businesses, as well as regularly volunteering on activities such as our Barefoot tech literacy programme in schools, our people are at the heart of nearly every community.”

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 East of England in 2017/18, BT Group:

· Directly employed a total of 12,400 people (FTE) and supported an estimated 47,200 full-time jobs

· Spent £993 million with suppliers based in the East of England

· Generated £2.7bn (£2,750 million) total GVA impact (including indirect and induced effects)

· Directly employed 1 in every 160 employees in the private sector across the East of England, and 1 in every 8 in the IT and Communications sectors

· Supported £1 in every £55 of GVA in the East of England’s economy and 1 in every 40 employees working in the East of England’s private sector.

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