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Richard Bell

BT worth £2bn to North West economy, finds report

BT contributed £2bn to the North West economy during the last year, according to new data.

An independent study has revealed that the telecoms giant and its mobile network brand EE support over 27k jobs in the region through direct employment, their suppliers and contractors, and the spending of employees.

Published today (November 7) by research firm Regeneris Consulting, the report – titled The Economic Impact of BT and EE in the UK – was welcomed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The CBI’s North West director, Damian Waters, 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.”

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

In terms of employment, the impact of BT and EE in the 2015-16 financial year was bigger than the North West’s publishing and broadcasting sector, according to the report.

Almost 9,360 staff and contractors are directly employed by BT and its EE brand in the North West, with a total income of about £289m. Further, around £801m was spent with region’s suppliers.

Overall, the firm’s activities expressed as a Gross Value Added (GVA) contribution stood at £2bn, which is £1 in every £80 of the region’s total GVA.

Mike Blackburn, BT’s North West regional director, commented: “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 North West to get access to the best communications – fixed line, mobile and broadband services – now and in the future.”

He continued: “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.”

Manchester-based Regeneris Consulting’s associate director, Tim Fanning, 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.”

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