BT Group adds £690m to NI economy

  • BT Group's activities provided estimated boost of £690m to the Northern Ireland economy last year and supported more than 7,300 jobs
  • Estimates include the knock-on impact of the spend of employees and payment to suppliers in local economies in all parts of Northern Ireland 
  • The company spent £140m with suppliers based in Northern Ireland last year 

The activities of BT Group added £690 million to the wider economy of Northern Ireland last year and supported more than 7,300 jobs, according to a new report published today

The report from consultancy firm Hatch looked at the spend of employees and suppliers of BT Group – which includes EE, BT, Plusnet and Openreach – and the estimated knock-on impact that has on economies across the UK. 

The report found that BT Group, the UK’s largest telecommunications company which employs more than 3,200 people in Northern Ireland, made a direct contribution to the NI economy estimated at £420 million in the last financial year (2021/22). Through the company’s employees and its supply chain, and their subsequent spending, Hatch estimates the resulting boost to the NI economy came to a total of £690 million. 

The company’s spending with suppliers based in Northern Ireland came to a total of £140 million. According to the study, BT Group’s combined activities supported a knock-on total of 7,340 jobs across Northern Ireland.  

The report highlights BT Group’s presence across Northern Ireland and its current major investment in the rollout of full-fibre broadband and 5G. It also profiles the range of activities by BT Group colleagues across the UK, from the volunteers helping care home residents avoid isolation and loneliness, to the teams protecting customers and the UK from cyber threats. 

BT Group is also transforming its offices and contact centres across the UK. It recently officially opened the multi-million pound refurbished Riverside Tower building in Belfast city centre. BT Group has already opened two brand new regional hubs in Birmingham and Bristol with new hubs set to open in Manchester and Cardiff this year.  

It is part of the company’s Better Workplace Programme, one of the largest workplace improvement schemes of its type ever undertaken in the UK. The five-year programme will see the company shift from having around 300 locations in the UK to around 30, with a focus on creating new, modern workspaces. 

Philip Jansen, Chief Executive of BT Group, said: “BT Group plays a vital role at the heart of the Northern Ireland economy. We're one of only a handful of companies that serves customers in every corner of the UK. 

 “We've continued our major investment in building next generation full fibre and mobile connectivity rapidly across the UK. We've already reached 9.6 million premises with full fibre, and our 5G mobile network now reaches 60% of the UK population. The benefits to families and businesses are huge: new jobs, economic growth and innovation, across every nation and region.  

 “We’re also transforming BT Group so that we’re fit to power the Northern Ireland economy of the future. Our new state-of-the-art offices, spread across the UK, are a central part of that, bringing colleagues together in brilliant spaces that will enable collaboration and help us to better serve our customers.” 



The Economic Impact Report 2023 has been prepared independently by Hatch Urban Solutions, drawing upon data for BT Group plc activities in the UK during the last financial year 2021/22. 

About BT Group

BT Group is the UK’s leading provider of fixed and mobile telecommunications and related secure digital products, solutions and services. We also provide managed telecommunications, security and network and IT infrastructure services to customers across 180 countries. 

BT Group consists of three customer-facing units: Consumer serves individuals and families in the UK; BT Business* covers companies and public services in the UK and internationally; Openreach is an independently governed, wholly owned subsidiary wholesaling fixed access infrastructure services to its customers - over 650 communication providers across the UK. 

British Telecommunications plc 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 the London Stock Exchange.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/about

*BT Business was formed on 1 January 2023 from the combination of the former Enterprise and Global units.  It will commence reporting as a single unit from 1 April 2023, with pro forma reporting information to be produced ahead of BT Group’s Q1 FY24 results.