BRADFORD’S economy was given a £55 million boost in the past year by technology giant BT, according to an independent study.

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

It revealed BT supported around 14,300 jobs in Yorkshire, including nearly 800 in Bradford, through direct employment, spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees.

The report has been welcomed by Beckie Hart, regional director of the Confederation of British Industry.

She 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.”

Nearly 6,600 people are directly employed by BT and its EE business in Yorkshire – equivalent to one in eight people working in the region’s IT and communications sector.. The combined business generated income for individuals and contractors of around £210 million

BT spent around £290 million with regional suppliers, including £25 million in Bradford.

The economic impact of BT and EE activities is expressed as a Gross Value Added contribution. For Yorkshire this totalled £1.12 billion – equivalent to £1 in every £100 of the region’s total GVA – of which £55

Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director, 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 Bradford 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.”