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BT rings up £190 million boost for Leicestershire economy

Press Release   •   Nov 07, 2016 10:00 GMT

  • Takeover of EE reinforces BT’s position as a leading local employer responsible for around 2,350 jobs in Leicestershire;
  • Confederation of British Industry (CBI) hails BT’s major contribution to economy

BT has given a massive £190 million boost to the Leicestershire economy in the past year, according to an independent study published today.

The report, by Regeneris Consulting, highlights the huge local impact of BT’s activities including its takeover of EE, which has reinforced the communications company’s position as one of the region’s leading employers.

It revealed BT supported around 9,900 jobs in the East Midlands – of which around 2,350 are in Leicestershire - through direct employment, spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees.

The report has been welcomed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Richard Blackmore, CBI’s East Midlands director, said: “This latest research demonstrates the extent to which BT plays a key role in our local communities. There is not a businessperson or family in this region who – directly or indirectly – is not affected by BT’s activities as a supplier of essential services, such as superfast broadband, major employer, investor or purchaser.

“In a competitive world, in which trade and relationships increasingly transcend regional and national boundaries, rapid and effective communications are ever more vital.”

Nearly 4,200 people are directly employed by BT and its EE business in the East Midlands – equivalent to one in 10 employees working in the region’s IT and communications sector. In employment terms, BT and EE’s impact in the 2015-16 financial year was larger than the region’s research and development sector.

Around £238 million was spent with East Midlands suppliers– including £29 million in Leicestershire.

The overall economic impact of BT and EE activities is expressed as a “Gross Value Added” (GVA)* contribution. For the East Midlands this combined GVA totalled £770 million – equivalent to £1 in every £130 of the region’s total GVA – of which more than £190 million was in Leicestershire.

The Economic Impact of BT and EE in the UK’ outlines the combined economic contribution of the two companies across the English regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the financial year 2015-16.

Tim Fanning, associate director of Regeneris Consulting, said: “Our latest analysis has shown that, together, BT and EE contributed around £1 in every £70 of economic output in the UK in 2015/16. This is clearly a very substantial combined economic footprint. Moreover, this contribution is spread throughout communities up and down the country.”

Owen Moody, BT’s regional director for the East Midlands, said: “Few organisations have a more positive and direct impact on the local economy and Leicestershire communities than BT.

“The acquisition of EE means we can invest even further, enabling people living and working in the county to get access to the best communications - fixed line, mobile and broadband services - now and in the future.

“As well as providing the means for families, homeworkers, companies and other organisations to communicate and do business in new and exciting ways, BT is helping to support other firms and suppliers in the area with the company’s procurement and overall expenditure and the spending of its employees.”

The report highlights that BT, including EE, was responsible for the employment of nearly 4,200 people and contractors in 2015-16 across the East Midlands – including more than 1,360 in Leicestershire - with a total income of around £130 million, and providing work for a further 5,800 people through spending with businesses that supply equipment and services, as well as through the spending of its staff.

Openreach – BT’s local network business – which provides services for hundreds of communications companies and their customers, recently announced it had completed the recruitment of around 60 extra engineers in the East Midlands to help install new lines and clear faults more quickly.

The new recruits are also working on rolling out fibre broadband to more households and businesses beyond the 1.9 million premises in the region, which already have access to the high-speed technology.

BT’s investment of more than £3 billion in fibre broadband across the UK includes the Superfast Leicestershire broadband partnership between BT and the county council that has already made fibre broadband available to more than 69,000 homes and businesses across the county.

Earlier this year, BT announced Openreach and EE would be investing around £6 billion more over the next three years in the first phase of a plan to extend superfast broadband and 4G coverage beyond 95 per cent of the country by 2020.

The company is also aiming to make ultrafast broadband available to up to 12 million UK homes and businesses by the end of 2020 using and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies.

UK-wide, BT and EE’s total GVA contribution in 2015/16 is assessed at £23.1 billion. The company supports 259,000 jobs directly and indirectly. BT and EE’s full economic impact is equivalent to £1 in every £70 of GVA in the UK economy and one in every 95 UK employees.

The full report is available at: