BT to consolidate U.K. offices, sell 90% of its real estate

Financially-beleaguered BT will shutter 270 of its 300 offices across the U.K. over the next five years in hopes of saving some £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) in expenses. The company plans to keep just 30 offices open, and sell about 90% of its current real estate.


BT announced the first eight locations for its new consolidated offices as part of what BT is calling the “Better Workplace Program,” which was first announced in May 2018. The offices will be located in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Cardiff, Wales; Edinburgh, Scotland; Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Ipswich in Adastral Park, London.


Most of those locations coincide with BT mobile phone arm EE’s first wave of 5G network launches. The new consolidated offices will be outfitted with 5G connectivity, fiber connections and will be “future-fit buildings,” the company said.


RELATED: EE to launch first commercial 5G networks in U.K. May 30


BT is also planning to move its London headquarters out of the St Paul's building, which the company has occupied since 1874.


The company has struggled in recent years amid increasing competition in the U.K. wireline market, a £500 million ($636 million) fraud scandal, an £11.3 billion ($14.37 billion) pension deficit, and a record-setting £42 million ($53 million) fine from U.K. regulator Ofcom for delays in network upgrades, according to BBC. Gavin Peterson, former CEO of BT and 14-year veteran of the company, was ousted by shareholders and replaced by Philip Jansen in October 2018.


BT is also cutting 13,000 employees from its payroll, two-thirds of which will come from U.K. offices.