According to an independent study published today, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly’s economy has benefitted to the tune of £82 million thanks to BT.

The report by Regeneris Consulting highlights the local impact of BT’s activities including its takeover of EE, which has strengthened the communications company’s position as one of the region’s leading employers.

It revealed BT supported 975 jobs in Cornwall through direct employment, spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees.

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

Deborah Waddell, the CBI’s South West director, 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.”

In employment terms, BT and EE’s impact on the south west in the 2015/16 financial year was larger than the region’s research and development sector.

A total of 7,920 people are directly employed by BT and its EE business – equivalent to one in seven employees working in the region’s IT and communications sector. Around £4 million was spent with Cornish suppliers.

The overall economic impact of BT and EE activities is expressed, in the report, as ‘Gross Value Added’ (GVA). For the south west, this combined GVA totalled £1.49 billion – equivalent to £1 in every £90 of the region’s total GVA – of which £82 million was in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Jon Reynolds
Jon Reynolds

In the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership area, one in every three employees in the IT and communications sector was directly employed by BT and EE.

‘The Economic Impact of BT and EE in the UK’ outlines the combined economic contribution of the two companies across the English regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the financial year 2015/16.

Tim Fanning, associate director of London-based Regeneris Consulting, 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.”

Jon Reynolds, BT’s regional director for the south west, said: “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 south west to get access to the best communications – fixed line, mobile and broadband services – now and in the future.

The report highlights that BT, including EE, in the south west was responsible for the employment of 7,920 people and contractors in 2015/16 – with a total income of around £274 million, and provides work for a further 7,220 people through spending with businesses that supply equipment and services, as well as through the spending of its staff. The number of BT employees and contractors in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly was 668.

UK-wide, BT and EE’s total GVA contribution in 2015/16 is assessed at £23.1 billion. The company supports 259,000 jobs directly and indirectly. BT and EE’s full economic impact is equivalent to £1 in every £70 of GVA in the UK economy and one in every 95 UK employees.

To see the full report, click here.