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Report: BT Group contributed almost £2bn to North West economy last year

BTs planned Manchester New Bailey site

BT Group’s activities provided a boost of almost £2bn to the North West economy last year, and supported more than 20,000 jobs across the region.

The figures come from the group’s new Economic Impact Report, compiled by global consultancy Hatch, and cover BT’s 2021/22 financial year.

The report shows that the company spent around £420m with suppliers based in the North West during the period and supported more than 20,000 jobs across the region, contributing to an overall figure of £1.86bn brought to the North West’s economy. The report’s estimates include the knock-on impact of the spend of employees and payment to suppliers in local economies.

Hatch looked at the spend of employees and suppliers of BT Group – which also includes EE, BT, Plusnet and Openreach – and the estimated knock-on impact that has on economies across the country.

It found that BT Group, the UK’s largest telecommunications company which directly employs around 8,600 people across the North West, made a direct contribution to the region’s economy estimated at £1.2 billion 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 region’s economy came to the total of £1.86 billion.

The report highlights BT Group’s presence across the North West and its current major investment in the rollout of full-fibre broadband and 5G across the country. It also profiles the range of activities by BT Group colleagues across the UK, from 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, including a multi-million-pound new hub at Manchester’s Four New Bailey, which is currently under construction and will provide a base for up to 2,000 colleagues. Once complete Four New Bailey will serve as one of BT Group’s key locations across the UK.

The company’s Better Workplace Programme, one of the largest workplace improvement schemes of its type ever undertaken in the UK, 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 UK economy. We’re one of only a handful of companies that serves customers in every corner of the country. 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 per cent 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 UK 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 bulk of BT’s North West employees and contractors are based out of six key sites, each home to at least 650 employees, in Liverpool, Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Warrington and Wigan. The largest of the sites is currently Liverpool, with 1,890 employees based there, while Salford is the smallest with 650 staff.

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