Media Release: BT Scotland’s half-billion pound boost for the Scottish economy

BT generated a massive £527 million for the Scottish economy in the last financial year, according to a report published today.

The report, by DTZ Consulting, also shows that the communications company supports more than 12,000 jobs in Scotland through direct employment and its spending with contractors and suppliers.

In employment terms, BT’s impact in 2009/10 was equivalent to Scotland’s entire accountancy and book keeping industry.

The overall beneficial financial impact of BT activities is expressed as a ‘Gross Value Added’ (GVA)* contribution. For Scotland, the BT GVA totalled £527 million – 0.5 per cent of Scotland’s total GVA.

Brendan Dick, director, BT Scotland, said: “BT contributes some very big numbers to Scotland’s bottom line. These latest figures confirm the unique and vital role the company plays in the prosperity and well-being of the nation.

“Every local authority area and every part of society benefit from our day-to-day activities and our commitment to be at the heart of every community. BT people across Scotland have a genuine desire to make a positive contribution to their society.

“Nothing exemplifies this better than the quiet determination of our engineers to keep Scotland connected in the face of this month’s extreme weather.

“It is vital as a business that we continue to grow and help our customers, stakeholders and employees to thrive as we work together to create a more prosperous Scotland.”

‘The Economic Impact of BT in the United Kingdom’ analyses 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 Scotland –

  • Is responsible for the employment of more than 7,520 people – 7,055 direct employees and 465 contractors – with a total income of £220 million
  • Provides work for a further 1,900 people through BT’s spending with businesses that supply its equipment and services
  • Invested £125 million in the Scottish economy through spending and procurement on capital and revenue projects last year
  • Committed £2.2 million to community, charity and voluntary programmes, spread around every Scottish community in 2009/10
  • Has enabled 80 per cent of its employees to work flexibly, with more than 550 homeworkers – eight per cent of the workforce.

BT asserts that largely through its investment Scotland now has some of the highest broadband take-up in the world and more than 99 per cent of homes and businesses have access. Speeds are improving and BT continues to invest in fibre-based super-fast broadband – by autumn next year 19 exchanges in Scotland will have been enabled for super-fast broadband.

In UK terms, BT’s GVA contribution is assessed at nearly £13 billion – one per cent of the UK’s total. It supports 270,000 jobs with a total value of £37 billion and last year spent £7.7 billion with UK-based suppliers.

Russell Whyte, an associate director and economist with DTZ Consulting, said: “The interesting thing about BT is that it is genuinely national, creating impact in every local community across the UK. The proportion of its total spend retained in the UK this year is notably higher than the average for the telecoms industry generally, which boosts its overall impact.”

The full report is available at

*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.

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Contact: BT Scotland press office
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