TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant BT made a £2.6 billion contribution to the North West’s economy in 2017-18, according to a new report.

It means that BT Group is responsible for generating £1 in every £105 produced by the region, according to research conducted by Hatch Regeneris.

While the company employs 7,260 directly, the report also estimated that it supports a further 13,240 jobs among its contractors and suppliers.

It estimates that BT Group supports one in every 110 employees working in the North West’s private sector.

It also spends £416 million with suppliers based in the North West, the research found.

Kieran Charleson, BT Group regional director, North of England, said: “Few companies play as important a role in the North West as BT Group. Not only does BT connect friends, families and businesses across the UK, but we also make a significant contribution to the region’s economy.”