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BT Group contributes £1.2bn to Scottish economy

BT Group is responsible for generating £1 in every £110 produced in the Scottish 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 an £1.2bn contribution – expressed as “Gross Value Added” (GVA)* – to the Scottish economy during the 2017/18 financial year.

The report estimates that the equivalent of 20,690 full-time jobs in Scotland are supported through BT’s direct employment, its spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of its employees.

BT Group directly employs 7,700 people in Scotland, with a further 681 employed as contractors. This is equivalent to one in every eight employees working in the Scottish IT and communications sectors, reinforcing its position as one of the country’s leading employers.

The Group also spent nearly £178 million with suppliers based in Scotland.

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.

From customer service centres in Thurso and Dundee to software development hubs in Glasgow or to EE’s investment in 4G and 5G, BT Group’s positive impact on Scottish communities is varied and significant.

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.

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

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said: “BT is a major employer in the Scotland and has a big impact on the economy and jobs. It is good news to see this significant presence in Scotland continuing.

“BT Group’s investment in the nation not only means a boost to local economies, but also to skills and high quality jobs, including recruiting apprentices and graduates. BT’s investment in the fastest networks and latest technology is also vital for the country. Being connected is essential for our businesses, for boosting productivity and for improving quality of life in all our communities.”

Jane Wood, BT Group UK nations and regions director, said: “Few companies play as important a role in Scotland as BT Group. Not only does BT connect friends, families and businesses across the country, but we also put premium fuel in the tank of the nation’s economy. The report shows that BT generates £1 in every £110 of wealth in Scotland.

“We’re proud to be one of Scotland’s largest private sector employers and investors. Our investments, including the latest 5G mobile technology through our mobile network EE, will ensure Scotland continues to be one of the world’s best-connected economies.

“With more than 7,700 people directly employed in the country, 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 Scotland in 2017/18, BT Group:

  • Directly employed a total of 7,700 people (FTE, including contractors) and supported an estimated 20,690 full-time jobs
  • Spent £178 million with suppliers based in the Scotland
  • Generated £1.2 billion total GVA impact (including indirect and induced effects)
  • Directly employed 1 in every 210 employees in the private sector across Scotland, and 1 in every 8 in the IT and Communications sectors
  • Supported £1 in every £110 of GVA in the Scotland economy

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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