Expanding presence in East of England for technology giant Huawei

The CIP Technologies building at Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath.

The CIP Technologies building at Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath.

Multinational technology giant Huawei, whose UK presence includes offices at BT’s Adastral Park complex in Suffolk, is now supporting more than 2,400 jobs in the East of England, according to a new study.

Huawei, which is based in China, has contributed £211million to the East of England’s economy (in terms of Gross Domestic Product – GDP) over the last three years, during which time it has purchased £154m worth of goods and services from suppliers in the region, the report by Oxford Economics says.

The study was commissioned by Huawei to gauge its economic impact in the UK – the first time the company has had its contributuion to any national economy independently audited.

The number of jobs supported by Huawei’s presence in the East of England, directly through employment or indirectly through its supply chain, has increased from 619 in 2012 to 2,436 now.

This figure has risen as a result of acquisitions including CIP Technologies (formerly the Centre for Integrated Photonics), also based at Adastral Park, in January 2012, and Cambridge-based Neul in September last year.

Huawei’s contribution to the East of England economy accounts for 22% of its overall £956million contribution to UK GDP between 2012 and 2014, and 33% of the the 7,400 jobs its supports across the UK.

The report adds that Huawei is “on track” to meet a commitment it made in 2012 to spend £1.3billionn in the UK over the five years to 2017, split equally between investment and procurement.

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Since 2012 Huawei has also opened a new R&D centre in Bristol, helped roll out 4G and broadband networks around the UK for customers including EE and BT, begun pioneering the development of 5G technologies, and increased its UK workforce from 781 to 1,030 people. The company now has a presence at 15 locations across the UK.

Ken Hu, one of Huawei’s rotating chief executives and an executive director on the Huawei UK board, said: “The UK is rightly known as a country which has an outstanding record in fostering business growth and pioneering technological innovations.

“These attributes make it one of our most important markets internationally. We are proud to make a contribution to the UK economy through our products and services and the ground-breaking innovation and R&D that we carry out in Britain. The impact report confirms the benefits we bring, but also indicates areas where can improve.”

Lord Browne, chairman of the Huawei UK board, said: “Huawei is a major investor in the UK, dedicated to making sure that the UK remains a leader in the global ICT sector. Through the more than 1,000 staff we employ directly and the 6,000 employees we support through our supply chain, Huawei is showing its commitment to creating a world-class, highly skilled workforce here in the UK.”

John Whittingdale, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said: “In 2012 the UK government welcomed Huawei’s five-year spending commitment as a sign that Britain was open for business and was attracting some of the world’s biggest businesses to invest here.

“I’m pleased to see the progress Huawei has made since then. It is a clear vote of confidence in Britain’s highly-skilled workforce and a recognition of the success we’ve had in creating the right environment for businesses to grow and flourish.”

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