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BT rings up £328 million for Devon economy

Press Release   •   Nov 07, 2016 10:00 GMT

Jon Reynolds, BT South West Regional Director

BT has given a massive £328 million boost to the Devon 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 strengthened the communications company’s position as one of the region’s leading employers.

It revealed BT supported 3,620 jobs in Devon 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).

Deborah Waddell, the CBI’s South West 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.”

In employment terms, BT and EE’s impact in the South West in the 2015/16 financial year was larger than the region’s research and development sector.

A total of 7,920 people are directly employed in the region by BT and its EE business – equivalent to one in seven employees working in the South West’s IT and communications sector. Around £28 million was spent with Devon suppliers.

The overall economic impact of BT and EE activities is expressed as a “Gross Value Added” (GVA)* contribution. For the South West, this combined GVA totalled £1.49 billion – equivalent to £1 in every £90 of the region’s total GVA – of which £328 million was in Devon.

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 London-basedRegeneris 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.”

Jon Reynolds, BT’s regional director for the South West, said: “Few organisations have a more positive and direct impact on the local economy and the region’s communities than BT.

“The acquisition of EE means we can invest even further, enabling people living and working in the South West 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 region with the company’s procurement and overall expenditure and the spending of its employees.”

The report highlights that BT, including EE, in the South West was responsible for the employment of 7,920 people and contractors in 2015/16 - with a total income of around £274 million, and provides work for a further 7,220 people through spending with businesses that supply equipment and services, as well as through the spending of its staff. The number of BT employees and contractors in Devon was 2,570

The company employs staff in every part of the region. Key local centres include Exeter and Plymouth.

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 180 extra engineers and apprentices in the South West 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 more than two 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 company working in partnership with the Government, local authorities and other bodies to help make the technology even more widely available across the region, especially in rural areas.

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:


Note to Editors

*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 BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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