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BT’s £798 million pound boost for South West economy

Press Release   •   Dec 16, 2013 00:00 GMT

Communications company responsible for nearly 10,000 jobs 
across South West 

Spends £100 million a year with local suppliers 
BT generated a massive £798 million for the South West economy in the past year, according to an independent report published today. 

The report, by Regeneris Consulting, also shows that the communications company supports nearly 10,000 jobs in the region through direct employment, its spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees. 

In employment terms, BT’s impact in 2012/13 was larger than all of the South West’s research and development. About £100 million was spent with regional suppliers. 

The overall beneficial financial impact of BT activities is expressed as a “Gross Value Added” (GVA)* contribution. For the South West, the BT GVA totalled £798 million – equivalent to £1 in every £130 of the region’s total GVA. 

Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West regional director, said: “BT and its employees make a major contribution to the region’s economy. They are a key part of its prosperity and economic well-being. BT is at the centre of every community and our day-to-day work benefits every local authority area right across the UK. 

“I’m also well aware that BT people throughout the South West really want to contribute in a positive way to the communities in which they live and work. Every day BT employees help millions of people to communicate, do business, be entertained and stay informed. 

“But BT’s role in the region is more significant than even these massive figures suggest. In addition to the activities analysed in this comprehensive report, we are creating a high-speed fibre broadband network which will be essential to the future success of local businesses and households. The potential benefits to the region offered by that network are huge by any standards.” 

“Social Study 2013 – The Economic Impact of BT in the United Kingdom” analyses the key role BT people play in economic, business and community life across the English regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

It highlights the positive contributions made by BT through the salaries and wages of employees and contractors, and the beneficial impact of its procurement and overall expenditure around the UK. 

The report highlights that BT in the South West – 
• Is responsible for the employment of nearly 5,750 people – 5,490 direct employees and 257 contractors – with a total employment income of £200 million 
• Provides work for a further 4,200 people through BT’s spending with businesses that supply its equipment and services, and the spending of employees 
• Committed £2.2 million to community, charity and voluntary programmes, spread around every regional community in 2012/13 
• Has enabled more than 75 per cent of its employees to work flexibly, with 652 homeworkers – 11 per cent of the direct workforce. 

BT is investing £2.5 billion in its commercial fibre broadband roll-out in the UK, and is working in project partnerships with governments, regional and local authorities to extend next generation broadband even more widely – especially to more rural and remote communities. 
Already more than 1.3 million South West homes and businesses have access to the technology and BT is working with broadband partnerships across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. 

BT continues discussions across the South West with prospective public and private sector partners about further government initiatives and local projects such as Enterprise Zones and Connected Cities. 

Volunteering is also a core element of BT’s strategy to be a responsible and sustainable business leader. Every BT employee is entitled to three fully paid days each year to volunteer for their chosen cause. In 2012/13 BT people volunteering in the community provided more than £13 million of in-kind support and assistance, some 43,600 days. In the South West, employees contributed 3,032 days, some 21,837 hours during the year. 

UK-wide, BT’s total GVA contribution is assessed at £18.5 billion. It supports 231,510 jobs directly and indirectly and last year spent £7.2 billion with UK-based suppliers. 
Stephen Nicol, Managing Director of Regeneris Consulting, commented: “Our analysis confirms the sheer scale and reach of BT’s economic contribution to the UK and its constituent local economies. BT makes a contribution to every town or city across the UK. At the UK level £1 in every £70 of wealth created is attributable to BT: this is one of the single most important contributions to the UK economy by any firm.” 

The full report is available at –http://www.btplc.com/Thegroup/BTUKandWorldwide/BTRegions/England/Factsandfigures/Factsandfigures.htm

*Gross Value Added (GVA) measures the value of all goods and services produced in an economy. GVA combines wages and operating profits from companies and other organisations. Growing GVA can reflect improvements in workforce skills, productivity, R&D and innovation. The figures for BT show the value added directly through BT's services and additional value generated through BT's suppliers across the nations and regions. 

About Regeneris 
Regeneris Consulting is an independent economics consultancy that provides research-based advice to major corporates, developers, national government bodies and local government. Regeneris specialises in preparing robust assessments of economic impact, focusing on the impact of large corporates, new technology, capital investments, and policy changes. Regeneris works across the UK and internationally from its offices in London and Manchester. 

See: www.regeneris.co.uk for further information.