Study says BT worth £1bn to Scots economy

Telecoms giant BT has rung up a £1 billion-plus boost to the Scottish economy in the past year and supported more than 12,000 jobs, according to a new independent study.

Engineers training at BT centre in Livingston. Picture: Contributed
Engineers training at BT centre in Livingston. Picture: Contributed

The former telecoms monopoly, which has faced calls to be broken up by competitors reliant on access to its Openreach operation, also spent £171 million with local suppliers in the past year.

The report, by Regeneris Consulting, highlights the local impact of BT’s activities including its takeover of mobile telecoms provider EE.

It indicates that the group supported some 12,600 jobs in Scotland through “direct employment, spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees”. In terms of financial impact, the study suggests there was a £1.08bn injection into the Scottish economy in the past 12 months.

Tim Fanning, associate director of 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.”

BT Scotland boss Brendan Dick added: “The acquisition of EE means we can invest even further, enabling people living and working in Scotland to get access to the best communications – fixed line, mobile and broadband services – now and in the future.”

Openreach recently completed the recruitment of 220 extra engineers and apprentices in Scotland.