BT’s £70 millions pound boost for Highland economy
BT generated a massive £70 million for the Highland economy in the past year, according to an independent report published today.
The report, by Regeneris Consulting, also shows that the communications company supports nearly 12,400 jobs in Scotland – of which more than 840 are in the Highlands – through direct employment, its spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees.
The overall beneficial financial impact of BT activities is expressed as a “Gross Value Added” (GVA)** contribution. Across Scotland the BT GVA totalled £1 billion – equivalent to £1 in every £115 of the nation’s total GVA – of which £70 million was in the Highland Council area.
It’s the first time the company has passed the £1 billion milestone in Scotland, with an increase of £68m since figures were last published two years ago.
Across Scotland, one in every eight employees working in the IT and communications sector is directly employed by BT and one in every 120 employees working in the private sector is supported by its full economic impact.
In employment terms, BT’s impact in 2014-15 was larger than Scotland’s insurance sector. Around £176 million was spent with Scottish suppliers – an increase of £52m on the 2012/13 figure.
Tim Fanning, associate director at Regeneris Consulting, said: “Our analysis confirms the sheer scale and reach of BT’s ongoing economic contribution to Scotland and the UK as a whole.
“BT makes a contribution to every community across the UK. At the UK level, £1 in every £80 of wealth created is attributable to BT – this is one of the single largest contributions to the UK economy by any firm.”
Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “There are few organisations in Scotland that have a larger impact on the day-to-day life and future prospects of the nation than BT.
“We are one of Scotland’s largest private sector employers and investors – our investment in fibre broadband across the country amounts to hundreds of millions of pounds - and the services that we provide are a vital part of every community.
“The facts and figures shown in this report highlight the full extent of BT’s contribution to the Scottish economy as we go about the daily business of keeping people connected and introducing new technologies, which are creating fresh opportunities and transforming lives.
“It’s fantastic news that we are now a £1 billion business in Scotland and that our impact has continued to grow in the last couple of years, reflecting our ongoing commitment to Scotland and its digital capabilities.
““The report emphasises BT’s really significant value to the Highlands, which have among the highest levels of BT impact for both GVA and employment of any local authority area in Scotland.
“Aside from the company’s activities, the report also draws attention to the positive ways BT people are contributing to the communities where they live and work, whether they are a volunteer for a worthy cause or a local shopper.”
‘Social Study 2015 – The Economic Impact of BT in the United Kingdom’ analyses the key role BT people play in economic, business and community life across the English regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It highlights the positive contributions made by BT through the salaries and wages of employees and contractors, and the beneficial impact of its procurement and overall expenditure around the UK.
The report highlights that BT in Scotland:
- Is responsible for the employment of 6,930 people – 6,235 direct employees and 695 contractors –of which more than 660 are in the Highlands –
with a total employment income of £224 million;
- Provides work for a further 5,480 people through BT’s spending with businesses that supply its equipment and services, and the spending of employees;
- Committed more than £1.1m to community, charity and voluntary programmes, spread around many regional communities in 2014/15;
- Has enabled more than three-quarters - 77 per cent - of its employees to work flexibly.
BT is investing more than £3 billion in the roll-out of fibre broadband in the UK through its own commercial programme and by working with the Government and local authorities in broadband partnerships to extend next generation broadband even more widely – especially to more rural and remote communities.
In Scotland, BT is the major private sector partner in the two Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband partnerships led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and by the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland. Through these partnerships and the company’s commercial roll-out, BT has already made fibre broadband available to more than 1.8 million Scottish homes and businesses – and this number is continuing to grow rapidly.
The report also highlights how BT is consistently one of the country’s leading investors in innovation with spending on research and development in the 2014/15 financial year reaching £502 million. Among the latest developments, the company has started trials of ultrafast G.fast broadband, which is already delivering download speeds up to 330 megabits per second (Mbps).
This new technology will be rolled out to 10 million UK homes and businesses by the end of 2020 and the majority of premises within a decade.
Volunteering is also a core element of BT’s strategy. Last year, BT people in Scotland contributed more than 3,300 volunteering days to worthy causes, amounting to in-kind support of more than £1 million. Across the UK, the figure is 50,500 days, worth more than £15 million.
In addition, MyDonate – BT’s commission-free online fund-raising service – has helped to raise more than £2m for charities across Scotland.
Brendan Dick added: “It’s evident BT people throughout Scotland really want to make a positive contribution to the communities in which they live and work. Every day BT employees help millions of people to communicate, do business, be entertained and stay informed.”
UK-wide, BT’s total GVA contribution is assessed at £18 billion. The company supports 217,000 jobs directly and indirectly and last year spent £6.5 billion with UK-based suppliers. As a result of the full economic impact of BT, the firm supports £1 in every £80 of GVA in the UK economy and one in every 110 UK employees.
The full report is available at: www.bt.com/reports
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.