BT ploughs £132m into city's economy

A telecommunications giant has rung up a massive £132 million into Sunderland's economy, according to an independent study.

Farooq Hakim, BT's North East regional director.
Farooq Hakim, BT's North East regional director.

The report, by Regeneris Consulting, shows the impact BT’s activities has had on the city - including its takeover of EE.

The study reveals the company supports around 12,600 jobs in the North East – of which more than 1,300 are in Sunderland - 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).

Sarah Glendinning, CBI regional director for the North East, 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 a competitive world, in which trade and relationships increasingly transcend regional and national boundaries, rapid and effective communications are ever more vital.”

More than 8,500 people are directly employed by BT and its EE business in the North East – equivalent to one in three employees working in the region’s IT and communications sector. Of these, nearly 1,000 work in Sunderland.

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.”

Farooq Hakim, BT’s regional director for the North East, 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 Sunderland to get access to the best communications - fixed line, mobile and broadband services - now and in the future.

“As well as providing the means for families, homeworkers, companies and other organisations to communicate and do business in new and exciting ways, BT is helping to support other firms and suppliers in the county with the company’s procurement and overall expenditure and the spending of its employees.”

The full report is available at: